Apple Watch shipments by model worldwide 2015-2017

Apple shipped more than 18 million of its smartwatches worldwide in 2017, around 6.5 million more than the previous year. Shipments of the Apple Watch Series 3, which came with built-in cellular connectivity for the first time, accounted for 2.45 million units.

The revolutionary Series 3

The Apple Watch disrupted the established order when it was released in 2015. The device captured around 75 percent of the smartwatch shipments market within months of it first going on sale; as a result, Samsung’s share dropped by around 65 percent in one year. The Apple Watch has since controlled the market, with shipment share peaking again following the release of the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2017. The main feature of the Series 3 was built-in cellular connectivity, which allowed users to make calls and send messages from their wrist even when away from their iPhone. Smartwatches previously served as extensions to smartphones, so this new technology lifted the Apple Watch to another level.

The Apple ecosystem

Apple has repositioned itself in recent years, reacting to changes in the smartphone market. Sales of the iPhone have peaked worldwide with figures showing around 215 million units sold each year since 2016. A growing number of people are content with their iPhone and have little desire to change model every two years; these are the people Apple are now targeting. Once in the Apple ecosystem, iPhone users are more willing to buy wearable accessories such as an Apple Watch or AirPods. A change in long-term strategy has seen greater attention given to its wearable division: the most recent Apple revenue figures showed wearables, home and accessories recorded 5.5 billion U.S. dollars and this is around a 50 percent increase from the previous year.

Apple Watch unit shipments worldwide from 2015 to 2017, by model

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Release date

March 2018



Survey time period

2015 to 2017

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