Despite widespread doubts about the growth of wearable technology, Apple Watch sales seem to have gained tremendous traction over the holiday season in 2016. New data from Slice Intelligence shows that November 2016 total Apple Watch sales were 111% higher than in November 2015.
December 2016 data only shows a 55% increase over December 2015, but when you consider the entire final quarter of 2016, Apple Watch sales broke all previous records.
The biggest spikes, as you can see, happened over Cyber Weekend between November 25 and November 28.
Here’s the comparative data for the months of November and December over a one-year period.
Another interesting finding from the Apple Watch Sales analysis is that the 42mm models sold better in 2016 over 2015, when the 38mm versions were more popular. While the margin isn’t that wide, it could be a key market indicator for Apple, for future Apple Watch models.
The data for this report is purely from online sales, validated by e-receipts and covering about 20,000 consumers.
The actual estimate for total Apple Watch sales for December was 5 million units, but that includes all sales channels – in-store and online. There’s no data from Apple yet about Apple Watch sales at their stores, but we should see the grand totals when Apple next reports its quarterly earnings.
The State of Apple’s Device Sales
The spike in Apple Watch purchases over this holiday season is, however, no indication that Apple is going to see an improvement in overall device sales. iPhone 7 has done exceedingly well, especially with the introduction of the Jet Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but smartphone sales all over the world are on the decline, and new customers are increasingly hard to come by in developed markets.
Most people are only refreshing their phone every two years, and Citigroup expects that the buyer upgrade cycle for smartphones may already have gone up to 29 months this year.
“Citigroup estimates the phone-replacement cycle will stretch to 29 months for the first half of 2016, up from 28 months in the fourth quarter of 2015 and the typical range of 24 to 26 months seen during the two prior years.” – WSJ
With that kind of forecast for Apple’s biggest revenue earner, the iPhone, any growth in other devices – such as Apple Watch sales – will help steady the ship as the company pushes hard on the services and media front with products like Apple Pay and Apple Music.
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