Apple set a new quarterly shipment record in in the fourth quarter of 2016, contributing to total smartwatch shipments exceeding nine million units, according to Canalys. This global market figure was largely driven by Apple’s six 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 the research group. According to Canalys estimates, the Apple Watch generated more than US$2.6 billion in revenue for Apple in the fourth quarter of 2016, making up nearly 80% of total smartwatch revenue.
“Apart from the hardware and software improvements of the new models, Apple succeeded mainly due to its streamlined marketing and re-aligned pricing, which helped it address a wider audience,” says analyst Jason Low. "The Series 1’s lower entry price and Apple’s more focused fitness messaging made its Watch both more attainable and more relevant.”
Canalys estimates that Apple cumulatively shipped 11.9 million Watches in 2016, holding market share of around 50% globally for the year.