Apple is continuing to reign supreme over the smartwatch market and is putting a sizable lead over the other contending brands.
In a report published by Canalys, a research firm dedicated to technology, Apple was reported to have shipped almost 7 million units of its smartwatches from the first time it started offering the wearables. Canalys pointed out that this figure is greater than all of the contending vendors' combined shipment statistics within the past five quarters. Moreover, in the third quarter of this year, Apple is the only brand to have shipped over 300,000 smartwatches.
With Apple's smartwatch sitting on top, the other competing brands, which are mostly Android Wear, are vying for positions below it. Pebble, with its release of the Time Steel series, sold more than 200,000 smartwatch units. On the other hand, Samsung's smart watch sales declined ahead of the Gear S2 release in the fourth quarter.
"Vendors will continue to battle for position behind Apple in Q4 as a raft of new devices from a diverse set of companies hits the market," Canalys reports.
Canalys uses as example Tag Heuer and Fossil's release of their own respective smartwatch offerings. The research firm also took notice of how Xiaomi and Fitbit led the basic band market in the third quarter. Note that Xiaomi managed to ship, cumulatively, 10 million Mi Band units during the third quarter while Fitibit's Charge HR has been performing well since it was first introduced.
Nonetheless, Canalys emphasized that the real measure of how well the Apple Watch sells will come this fourth quarter, during the holidays.
"Apple managed to overcome its production struggles with the Apple Watch and is building momentum going into Q4," says Daniel Matte, an analyst. "Shipments are steadily increasing as it has greatly expanded the Watch's channel footprint internationally."
In addition, Chris Jones, the firm's principal analyst, notes that the release of watchOS 2, which allows Apple's smartwatches to support apps natively without the need to be tethered to a phone and the addition of more styles and colors, have refreshed the smartwatch lineup. However, Jones also states that Cupertino must continually generate demand for the smartwatch half a year after it launched.