Now that we're in July, second quarter results of smartwatch shipments are out, and Apple Watch, as usual has come out as a winner. Apple shipped 3.5 million Apple Watches worldwide, a 30 percent increase year on year, according to Canalys. In Asia, the cellular connected Apple Watch Series 3 was the best shipped smartwatch in the second quarter of 2018, and the overall number of Apple Watches shipped was at 250,000 in the region, out of which the LTE variant accounted for 60 percent of shipments.
Even though Apple Watches continue to remain in the lead, it saw a decline in shipments compared to last quarter, Canalys reported. In Q1 2018, Apple Watch raked in 43 percent of the overall smartwatch shipments market share globally, but in the second quarter of 2018, that number dropped to 34 percent.
Apple's good performance in Asia is mainly due to its new operator partnerships in India with Airtel and Reliance Jio, Canalys reported. The company has also formed operator partnerships on Thailand and South Korea as well in the second quarter. Canalys Senior Analyst Jason Low said in a statement, "Operators in these markets are willing to resell connected devices other than smartphones that can help them generate extra revenue from data services. India is a surprising addition to the list of countries. But this is a good strategy by Airtel and Reliance Jio to retain their high-value customers in a bid to minimise churn in a cut-throat market."
Overall smartwatch shipments were around the 10 million mark in the second quarter, and some best performing companies include Fitbit and Garmin, apart from Apple, Canalys reported. Samsung and Google both are expected to launch their own smartwatch variants this year, and Apple could then feel the real competition in the next quarter. "Amid further competition from Samsung and Google, rumored to be launching Galaxy and Pixel watches respectively, Apple needs to work out how to drive refreshes in markets such as the US, where its penetration into the existing iPhone installed base has started to level off," Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke said in a statement.