The most popular Apple Watch probably isn’t the model you’d expect

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Apple Watch
Apple Watch Series 1 continues to rule the roost.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch Series 3 is easily the best Apple Watch so far, but you wouldn’t know it from sales. Although Apple continues to lead the smartwatch industry, a massive 9 out of 10 Apple Watches sold are the older Apple Watch Series 1.

That’s markedly different from the smartphone industry, where Apple’s newest iPhone tends to be the world’s most popular (and certainly Apple’s most popular) handset. That’s even true when it’s a device like the iPhone X that are much pricier than older models.

Smartwatch brands
The top five global players in the smartwatch space.
Photo: Counterpoint Research

“Despite initial hype and traction of cellular based Apple Watch Series 3 in the first two quarters, Apple iPhone users are actually choosing the Series 1 as a non-cellular option over Series 3 non-cellular model which is surprising to many industry watchers,” research director Neil Shah said.

How 2018 is playing out for smartwatches

Apple’s quarterly Watch shipments declined 20 percent quarterly, but grew 17 percent year-on-year.

That’s overall good news, and not all that surprising, since the closer we get to a new Apple Watch launch, the more customers are likely to hang on for the new model, rather than buying a watch that’s set to become outdated.

It’s definitely better news than Samsung’s smartwatch shipments, which declined 17 percent quarterly and 43 percent year-on-year.

Apple’s overall market share dropped from 48 percent one year ago to 41 percent now. The big shocker in this area was Fitbit, whose market share leaped from 8 percent a year ago to 21 percent now.

Did you buy a smartwatch in the last year? Are you eagerly holding on for the 2018 Apple Watch refresh? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.