Apple Watch is dominating the cellular smartwatch market

It's time to put LTE in your smartwatches, everyone else

It's been clear for a while the Series 3 is the Apple Watch's big breakthrough moment. It's been selling gangbusters for Apple, far more than the Apple Watch Series 2 ever sold.

While we don't exactly know why, it's easy to assume that LTE connectivity was a tipping point for many people. The allure of getting to leave your phone at home was a strong one, especially for those who liked to go out for a run or bike. Now, new Canalys data says the Series 3's best-selling nature doesn't just amount to dominating other Apple Watches. The Series 3 is also dominating all other LTE smartwatches.

Read this: The best LTE smartwatches

The Series 3 has 59% of the cellular smartwatch market in Q1 2018. Cellular networks have taken to the Series 3 as well, pushing it to their customers in an effort to drive up subscription revenue thanks to data plans. Even better for Apple, more carriers are picking up the Series 3 every month.

"While the Apple ecosystem has a strong LTE watch offering, the lack of a similar product in the Android ecosystem is glaring," said Canalys senior analyst Jason Low. "If Google decides to pursue the opportunity with a rumored Pixel Watch, it would jump-start much needed competition in this space."

While there are other LTE smartwatches, many of them are long in the tooth. There's the year-old LG Watch Sport, the year-old Huawei Watch 2 and the year-old Samsung Gear S3. The lack of competition, combined with Apple's ability to suck up all the attention to itself, has helped the Series 3 stand out as an LTE hero.

Overall, the wearable market grew 35% year-over-year, moving 20.5 million units in the quarter. A lot of that has to do with a demand for health-centric devices. Apple won the quarter with an estimated 3.8 million units, while Xiaomi - on the strength of its Mi Band fitness trackers - came in second with 3.7 million units. Fitbit, Garmin and Huawei came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Garmin, however, came in second for smartwatches after Apple, moving 1 million units in the quarter.

And of course, users are continually replacing their fitness trackers with high-end smartwatches. Fitbit is essentially in a race to sell more smartwatches than fitness trackers, according to Canalys. This past quarter, smartwatches - including the new Versa - made up 24% of its sales.

Apple Watch is dominating the cellular smartwatch market


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  • yogibimbi·

    Hehe, this is my "told-you-so" moment, then: I said right from the start with swart watches I want a waterproof watch with internet that I can make calls with, and in the beginning people tried to convince me I needed "companions" for my phone, but I held out. I feel vindicated. Well....