Apple sold over a million units of Apple Watch in China

Apple has sold over a million smartwatches in China alone, and iPhone remains leading smartphone, local analytics reveal

Chinese time

Fresh data from China suggests Apple may have achieved higher-than-anticipated Apple Watch sales, with over a million in use in China alone.

Chinese app analytics company, TalkingData, claims much use of the Apple wearable in the populous country. The third biggest data platform in China TalkingData carries data regarding nearly 1.8 billion mobile devices, the company said. These figures follow IDC’s earlier estimate of 3.6 million units.

So can we accept Talking Data’s claims? I contacted them and they assured me their claims are correct. “Our database have almost covered every activated Apple Watch of China,” assured a company representative. “You may treat the Cumulative number of Apple Watch possession as the sales volume of Apple Watch in China,” the company spokesman said.

Over a million

“Today, 80 percent of the Top 50 developers in China rely on us to track their app metrics, analyze user data points, and monetization,” the pointed out. “Up to August 23, the number of activated Apple Watch in China should no less than 1.07 million,” they said.

TalkingData provided me with a range of interesting statistics that provide some useful insights into Apple Watch sales in China.

They confirm that 41.4 percent of Apple Watch users are based in the biggest Chinese cities, but that “users in the second and third-tier cities witnessed a faster growth in number than that in first-tier cities, among which the growth in third-tier cities and smaller ones is the fastest.” In other words, initial sales in big cities are strong but interest in the product is spreading across the country. (Beijing and Shanghai between them account for 35.5 percent of Apple Watch users).


So what are people using their Watches for? The company provides some breakdown on this, but these claims should be tempered with awareness that the company’s tracking information only covers those apps it works with. For convenience I’ve included a table encapsulating this information below:

talkiingdata TalkingData

Chinese Apple Watch usage as defined by local analytics firm, TalkingData.

iOS in China

The analytics company also had some useful insight into iOS marketshare in China. These figures seem to confirm around 27.27 percent of smartphone users there use iOS while 16.82 percent are on Samsung, 11.12 per cent on Xiaomi and 8.53 percent are using Huawei phones. Most of the rest of the Chinese market is defined by local brands.

These figures make it pretty clear that while Apple maintains a unique market offer that people are turning too, leaving Samsung in a bloody battle for marketshare against other Android vendors.

The iPhone opportunity

Apple is expected to introduce new iPhones next week. Some have expressed concern that faster iPhones equipped with Force Touch and much better cameras may not match the huge upgrade cycle of iPhone 6.

These concerns must be tempered with the visible opportunity. Bloomberg Intelligence’s mobile phones team earlier this week observed: “For Apple's next iPhone refresh,
the company can tap the upgrade opportunity that exists with users still on older-generation iPhones. This may help to partly offset the tough comparisons posed by the outsized success of the iPhone 6.

bloomberg Bloomberg Intelligence

Bloomberg Intelligence says iPhone 6S has an upgrade opportunity.

“Apple CEO Tim Cook said that, as of fiscal 3Q, only 27 percent of iPhone users had upgraded to the iPhone 6, while 73 percent were
still on older-generation devices. This, coupled with share gains from Android in the premium segment, should help Apple to drive further growth in the iPhone cycle.”

With new Macs, an Apple TV, iOS 9, OS X and Apple Watch OS2 upgrades to look forward too, next week seems highly promising. Tune in here to for insight and analysis on September 9.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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