Apple’s wearables is now the size of a Fortune 200 company

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Apple Watch arm wrestling
Apple's Apple Watch business grew 50% last quarter.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple’s wearables business continues to grow like gangbusters.

Sales of the Apple Watch grew 50% compared to the same quarter last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Apple’s Q2 2019 quarterly analyst call Tuesday.

If Apple’s wearables business — which includes the Apple Watch and the popular AirPods earbuds — were a stand-alone company, it would be in the Fortune 200, Cook said.

Apple’s wearables business also includes its home and accessories categories. Together, sales in the March quarter hit a record $5.1 billion, up from $3.94 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Cook said the Fortune 200 milestone was “an amazing statistic since it’s only been four years since we released the Apple Watch.”

Rapid growth for Apple wearables

The growth has been pretty rapid. In May 2018, Apple’s wearables division was nearly the size of a Fortune 300 company.

Cook didn’t reveal actual unit sales numbers. Apple has never released detailed sales statistics for its wearables business (and has, in fact, quit releasing detailed sales numbers for all its hardware, saying Wall Street should focus on revenue rather than unit sales).

Although wearables revenue remains relatively small when compared to iPhone, these products represent an important strategic area of interest for Apple. Apple Watch in particular plays a key role as the company continues to expand into wellness and health care, one of the world’s biggest industries.

Cupertino is busy boosting technology like HealthKit and ResearchKit that can take data from the Apple Watch and share it with health researchers and health care providers.

Apple Watch: World’s favorite smartwatch

Apple CFO Luca Maestri said wearables sales set a new record for the Q2 quarter, which ended March 30, 2019. He said the Apple Watch is the best-selling and most-loved smartwatch anywhere, citing third-party market research. The Q2 results are the best results ever for a non-holiday quarter, he said.

Maestri also said the Apple Watch is attracting a lot of newbies. Three-quarters of new Apple Watch customers had never worn a smartwatch before, he said.

Cook said the growth is driven by customers’ interest in fitness and health. During the quarter, Apple brought the new ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4 to Hong Kong and 19 EU companies.

There have been several reports of the ECG app alerting users to previously undiagnosed heart problems. Cook said he gets almost daily emails from customers who said the Apple Watch “has significantly affected their lives.”