Smartwatches are here to stay. And that’s not an anecdotal statement, it’s based on new research showing that the category is now selling better than traditional watches in America. The three biggest names in the industry, Apple, Samsung and Fitbit, are now among the top five selling watch brands in the country by value.
According to a new study by market research group NDP, sales of connected watches are skyrocketing: they increased by more than 24% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year, according to a breakdown of the study by Hodinkee. In addition, the group now estimates that the connected watch market is now worth $ 5 billion in the United States alone.
The 24% jump in the first half of 2019 follows a 51% increase in dollar sales and a 61% increase in unit sales for all of 2018. The success of the past 18 months brings the NDP to believe that smartwatches have turned a corner in the United States and are now part of the mainstream. The group estimated that one in four Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 now own a smartwatch.
Traditional watches still accounted for 56% of the total value of watches sold in America last year, but they were actually overtaken by smartwatches in the fourth quarter. During this period, smartwatches accounted for 55% of total watch sales in the country.
“The ability to be truly connected via integrated LTE without needing to have a smartphone nearby has proven to be a tipping point for consumers,” said Weston Henderek, director and industry analyst for NPD Connected. Intelligence, in February after the publication of these figures. . “They now recognize the value of being able to perform a wide variety of tasks on the device, including receiving notifications, messaging, accessing smart home controls, and more. “
As impressive as these numbers are, the clearest sign of the smartwatch’s rise is that smartwatch brands now represent three of the top five best-selling watch brands by value. Although NPD does not disclose estimated sales figures, they rank the top five brands as follows: Apple, Rolex, Fitbit, Patek Philippe, and Samsung.
Among these brands, Apple seems to lead by far. Another study, from IDC and Strategy Analytics, estimates that the company shipped 23 million Apple Watches in 2018, roughly half of the world’s smartwatch shipments. And with the company having just announced the latest iteration of their watch– the 5 Series, the first to feature a permanent display – earlier this week, those numbers could well be the start of that dominance.