As Apple's own Wearables category continues to grow, new data from the NPD group show how Apple's success impacts the rest of the smartwatch industry. According to the data, unit sales for smartwatches were up 61 percent over the 12 month period ending in November 2018 …
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In addition to 61 percent growth for unit sales, NPD data shows that smartwatch dollar sales increased by 51 percent to nearly $ 5 billion. Apple, Samsung and Fitbit "top three brands" accounted for 88 percent of unit sales during this period, with Apple the "clear market leader" according to the NPD.
16 percent of American adults now on a smartwatch, the data says. This is up from 12 percent in December 2017. Among demographic ages 18-34, this figure is somewhat higher at 23 percent penetration. In the future, NPD expects new health features to increase the popularity of smartwatches among the older generation. NPD notes also increased interest in things like home automation that drives smartwatch growth:
As recent health-focused devices such as the Apple Watch Series 4 continue to address next year, expect to see a large increase in penetration among older segments. In addition to health and exercise tracking, development issues will help strengthen the segment. For example, 15 percent of smartwatch owners claim to use the devices to control home automation devices.
During the Q1 2019 revenue interview last month, Apple reported that the Wearables segment's revenue increased by 50 percent in the quarter. It includes products such as Apple Watch and AirPods. Revenue from Wearables is approaching the size of a Fortune 200 company, Apple says. Tim Cook explained:
We also had our best quarter ever for Wearables, Home and Accessories, with 33 percent growth in total and nearly 50 percent growth from wearables, thanks to strong sales of both Apple Watch and AirPods.
Read the full report from the NPD group here.
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