According to a report from analysis and research firm, Canalys, Apple had roughly about 50% of the total global smartwatch market sale to its name with the approximately 11.9 million smartwatch units it shipped for the whole of last year - 2016.
Apple also reportedly set a new quarterly shipment record in the fourth quater (Q4) of 2016. The record set was a global market shipment of about 6 million smartwatch unit by Apple - representing a growth of 12% from the previous year. And despite being drawn back by certain supply constraints, Apple managed to make the most out of the quarter irrespective; most likely because Apple counteracted the supply problem by expanding its supply chain.
Still going by Canalys estimates, the Apple Watch made Apple richer as the gear sales added US$2.6 billion in revenue to Apple's coffers in Q4 2016, amounting to nearly 80% of total global smartwatch revenue during the period.
Following Apple is Fitbit. With a 17% share of the market last year, it came running immediately behind Apple. Pretty sure it posed no real threat to Apple given the significantly wide percentage difference between the two companies smartwatch sales. Samsung walked majestically into the 3rd place with a meager 15% market share. Given Samsung's popularity and presence in all global market, 15% is quite a disappointing figure you would agree.
With an "Others" tag, Canalys lists other smartwatch manufacturer under this category and together, they only managed to pull 19% smartwatch shipment in 2016.
See excerpt from the Canalys report below;
"Apple set a new quarterly shipment record in Q4 2016, contributing to total smartwatch shipments exceeding 9 million units. This global market figure was largely driven by Apple’s 6 million shipments, representing year-on-year growth of 12%. It was the Apple Watch’s best quarter despite being significantly handicapped by supply constraints, even though Apple simultaneously expanded its supply chain. According to Canalys estimates, the Apple Watch generated more than US$2.6 billion in revenue for Apple in Q4 2016, making up nearly 80% of total smartwatch revenue."
Wondering why Apple dominated the smartwatch market in 2016? Well, Canalys cites the "Apple Watch’s lower entry-level price point with Series 1 and an increased focus on fitness features" as the drive behind the high demand and subsequent upsurge in shipment in 2016.
Though Apple managed to sweep off competition from other brands in 2016, it can't be said for sure that the same feat will be achieved in 2017 given that the Apple Watch will have to contend with new Android Wear wearables which will go up for sale in the coming weeks or months as the delayed in the release of the Android Wear 2.0 have been worked on.
Let's just see how 2017 works out for Apple and its smartwatch.