According to a new report by researcher Canalys, Apple has shipped an estimated 7 million Apple Watch units since its release, which gives it a significant lead in the smartphone market, though the number falls shy of some Wall Street analysts’ estimates (via Re/Code). The report however adds that Apple sold more smartwatches from April through September than all other vendors combined sold over the past five quarters.
Canalys analyst Chris Jones said that despite the fact that Apple needed to overcome a component supply issue that initially limited the Apple Watch’s availability, Apple Watch shipments have been consistently increasing. The analyst predicts that Apple will be able to maintain that momentum through the holiday quarter. He also highlighted that as the holiday period begins, the wearable is being sold in 32 countries and territories, and by more retailers, while also being offered in new gold and rose gold aluminum cases for the Apple Watch Sport.
“People are still deciding whether it’s something they want to invest in,” Jones said. “Watches are not worn by everyone now. The phone can do a lot of notifications. So a lot of people are figuring out whether this is something they need.”
The Apple Watch will face intensifying competition for consumers looking for a watch that does more than tell time. Among the devices vying for a spot on the wrist are the round-faced Samsung Gear S2, the second-generation Moto 360 and the 360 Sport and the first smartwatch from the high-end watchmaker Tag Heuer.
Currently, fitness bands are outselling the smartwatches, with Fitbit and Xiaomi dominating the market.