The numbers for Q3 2017 suggest that Apple shipped 3.9 million units of the Apple Watch, which is the company's strongest quarter ever for the Watch. Estimates from Canalys suggest that unit sales nearly hit 4 million for Apple Watch in the third quarter.
Canalys Analyst Jason Low stated for the report that "Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers' doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers". This was ahead of 3.6 million fitness trackers and other basic wearables shipped by Xiaomi and 3.5 million by Fitbit. Apple now commands 23% of the wearable band market, compared to 21% for Xiaomi, who bagged the top spot for the first time in the previous quarter.
The only official metric that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) disclosed about Apple Watch during last quarter's earnings release was that the smartwatch enjoyed "unit growth of over 50% for the third consecutive quarter".
Grateful for his new Apple Watch 3 functionality that took him out of a potentially unsafe situation, John Zilles emailed Apple to let them know how he appreciates the gear, and apparently even got a short reaction by fellow fitness nerd Tim Cook himself, in the form of one short but sweet "wow, happy to hear you are safe" reply.
Despite the gains, overall wearable sales dropped by 2 percent in Q3 year-over-year to 17.3 million in unit sales. And Apple charges $399 for the entry-level connected model, versus only $329 for the cheapest watch without LTE, with wireless carriers tacking on another $10 per month for connectivity. Huawei is in fourth place, but its share of 6% means it's unlikely to pose a threat to the top three in the near future.
The device suffered from some modest supply constraints in several important markets like China, as Series 3 launched with just days left in the third quarter alongside the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. However, it did mention during its latest results call that the wearable business, which includes Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats products, grew 75 percent year-over-year.
At 9.53 a.m. EST, Apple shares were down 0.57% at $173.02.