The Apple Watch wasn’t just the best-selling smartwatch last year, but also put the Swiss watch industry to shame, according to new sales estimates compiled by Strategy Analytics. The report estimates Apple shipped nearly 31 million units in 2019, a 36 percent jump over last year. The Swiss watch industry, which includes brands like Swatch and TAG Heuer, only shipped an estimated 21.1 million units, a 13 percent decline, Strategy Analytics says.
While Apple doesn’t break out specific Apple Watch unit sales in its quarterly earnings, Strategy Analytics gathers data from retail partners and other vendors to arrive at its sales estimates. “Analog wristwatches remain popular among older consumers, but younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerized wristwear,” writes Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.
According to fellow Strategy Analytics analyst Steven Waltzer, “Traditional Swiss watch makers, like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars. Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wristwear. The window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing.”
The Apple Watch has been market leader in the smartwatch category for many years now and once surpassed the Swiss watch industry in quarterly sales in 2017, but this is the first full year the product surpassed its analog competitor, Macrumors notes.