Apple Watch surges to ‘best quarter ever’ as Fitbit sales decline

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Apple Watch is no flop.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

2016 was a fantastic year for Apple Watch, according to the latest info from the International Data Corporation that shows Apple’s wearable just experience its best quarter ever.

In its latest report, IDC analysts say Apple Watch is finally closing the gap on Fitbit, which just experienced its largest declines ever in the fourth quarter.

Apple Watch Series 2 is sold out ahead of Christmas

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
Giving "the gift of go" might not be possible.
Photo: Apple

Getting your hands on an Apple Watch Series 2 in time for Christmas has become nearly impossible for holiday shoppers.

Demand for the new watch has ticked up to a new level in the last month, according to Apple employees, who told Cult of Mac that stores are selling out of the Apple Watch Series 2 so fast that production can’t keep up.

Fitbit surges as Apple Watch stumbles

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Simple fitness trackers from Fitbit, Xiaomi and Garmin outsold Apple Watch during the third quarter.
Simple fitness trackers from Fitbit, Xiaomi and Garmin outsold Apple Watch during the third quarter.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch may be the most recognizable product in the wearables space, but it isn’t the best-selling.

Sales of Apple Watch are down more than 70 percent, according to IDC Research, which cites third-quarter sales figures of the wearables market.

Are smartwatches doomed?

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swimmer wearing apple watch
Is fitness really all that Apple Watch is fit for?
Photo: Apple

The writing has been on the wall for smartwatches ever since Cupertino chose to focus on sports and fitness features for Apple Watch Series 2. Smartwatch sales are plummeting, and fitness seems to be the only profitable area remaining in the wearables sector.

More evidence of this trend emerged this week, with smartwatch trailblazer Pebble reportedly being acquired by fitness wearables specialist Fitbit. We might very well be witnessing the demise of the smartwatch as we know it.

So how did we get here? Is Apple Watch really only fit for fitness, or could it still one day fulfill its destiny and become a true wrist-based computing platform?

A swimmer’s view of Apple Watch Series 2 [Reviews]

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Does Apple Watch Series 2 sink or swim?
Does Apple Watch Series 2 sink or swim?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Workout app in Apple Watch Series 2 includes two new swimming options to show off its waterproofing. This is a key differentiator over the cheaper Series 1 model, and yet very few reviewers actually took their test units for a swim. One even claimed that all the pools and beaches in New York were closed, so they couldn’t test this feature.

So I decided to take the plunge with Series 2 and find out for myself if it sinks or swims.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve tested my Apple Watch in a variety of swimming conditions, including various public pools — and even the Mediterranean sea.

Apple Watch Series 2 may not be enough to boost sales

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
Will the Nike+ bring in more Apple Watch customers?
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

The new features on the Apple Watch Series 2 will not be enough to boost overall sales of the wearable, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo.

Even though the original Apple Watch was only on sale for eight months in 2015, Kuo’s supply chain sources indicate that sales will decline compared to last year.

Apple Watch 2 may get thinner display

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Get your Apple Watch ready for the new iPhone.
The new Apple Watch will look just like the old one.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The second-generation Apple Watch is set to adopt new “One Glass Solution” technology for its display, according to the latest rumor out of Asia.

Apple’s new wearable is expected to debut later this year and while previous rumors have claimed it won’t feature any major design changes, Apple supplier TPK Holding supposedly let it slip that Apple is using one of its new displays that could save Apple some space on the inside.

Wearable shipments fall as Apple Watch gets long in the tooth

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Ugreen's magnetic charging station for the Apple Watch.
When Apple Watch shipments fall, the industry feels it.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Wearable shipments fell for the first time ever last quarter, and it’s all thanks to declining interest in an aging Apple Watch. Smartwatch vendors shipped just 3.5 million units during Q2 2016, down from 5.1 million units over the same quarter last year.