India Helps Apple Watch Garner 3.5 Million Shipments in Q2: Canalys


Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel had partnered with Apple Watch in 2017 to promote the latter’s feature of e-SIM by introducing special data plans

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Apple Watch has made 3.5 million shipments all over the world in the second quarter of the current financial year (2018-19), according to a new report by Singapore-based research analyst firm, Canalys. This is a 30 per cent growth from the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year of 2017-18.

India was the turning factor in boosting Asia sales

The report stated that in Asia, Apple Watch Series 3 was the most shipped Apple Watch in the second quarter of 2018-19. The total number of Apple Watches that shipped to the continent (excluding China) was 250,000 with the Apple Watch Series LTE being the most popular. The LTE variant accounted for approximately 60 per cent of the total shipments.

Apple Watch collaborated with Airtel and Reliance Jio last year to boost the sales of Apple Watch Series LTE variant, which is enabled with features to operate e-SIM. Both the telco giants had introduced special data plans to cater to the goal of their partnerships with Apple. The starting price of an Apple Watch Series LTE is Rs 39,080.

Jason Low, a senior analyst, said in the report that India is a “surprising addition” to the list of nations. “But this is a good strategy by Airtel and Reliance Jio to retain their high-value customers in a bid to minimise churn in a cut-throat market,” he added. Besides its partnerships in India, starting the second quarter, the company has joined hands with operators in Thailand and South Korea as well.

Speaking about the smartwatches’ market, Low said that operators in such markets are interested in reselling connected devices in comparison to smartphones, which can help them boost additional revenues from data services

Global market shares of Apple Watch dropped to 34 per cent from Q1

Even after the great shipments, the global market shares of Apple Watch declined to 34 per cent in the second quarter of the current financial year. According to Canalys, the overall global market shares in the first quarter of the current 2018-19 financial year was 43 per cent.

There have been approximately 10 million smartwatch shipments in the second quarter of this year, and even with the lead, Apple Watch faces stiff competition from Garmin and Fitbit. It is most likely that Samsung and Google will introduce their own smartwatches this year too. If so, Apple Watch will have more competitors in the market. Vincent Thielke, Canalys Research analyst, said in the report, “Amid further competition from Samsung and Google, rumoured to be launching Galaxy and Pixel watches respectively, Apple needs to work out how to drive refreshes in markets such as the US, where its penetration into the existing iPhone installed base has started to level off.”