Although Apple refuses to divulge hard sales numbers for the Apple Watch, the analysts at Canalys decided to take a run at it, estimating shipments to date at 7 million.
Canalys claims that puts the Apple Watch well ahead of other smartwatches and “smart bands” in the space, including Pebble and Samsung. Earlier this year, IDC estimated that the Apple Watch had shopped 3.6 million units in the second quarter, putting it in a position to overtake Fitbit, which also ships millions of devices.
“After experiencing significant supply chain constraints early on, Apple managed to overcome its production struggles with the Apple Watch and is building momentum going into Q4,” Canalys analyst Daniel Matte wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “[The] watchOS 2 [operating system] has brought native apps to the platform, and new colors and styles have refreshed the lineup, but Apple needs to continue to generate demand six months after launch.”
WatchOS 2 allows developers to build native apps (for quicker loading and better access to the watch’s features, including the Taptic Engine that taps the wearer’s wrist), create “Complications” that display on the device’s face, and transmit data more robustly to the user’s iPhone.
Throw into the mix Apple’s own financial disclosures, which VentureBeat recently picked through to determine that the Apple Watch earned the company roughly $1.68 billion since its release in April, and it’s clear that the device isn’t the bomb that some analysts predicted. For developers who work frequently with iOS, it may also be time to consider building or porting an app for the platform.