This is a disappointment for the Swiss watch industry. In 2019, smartwatches have dethroned, in terms of sales, one of the symbols of Swiss know-how. According to a report by the research institute Strategy Analytics, Apple sold more smartwatches worldwide than all Swiss watchmakers last year. The Apple Watch sold 31 million copies in 2019, compared with 22.5 million units sold in 2018, a 36% increase in sales in one year, according to Strategy Analytics.
In contrast, the Institute for Statistical Analysis estimates that sales of the Swiss watch industry as a whole amounted to 21.2 million units shipped worldwide in 2019, compared with 24.2 million in 2018, a 13% drop in sales. It should be noted, however, that Apple does not publish its Apple Watch sales figures. These results are therefore based on shipment estimates. Steven Waltzer, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said Apple’s smartwatch was so successful because the company was able to build on its core strengths: careful design and playful technology.
“A mix of attractive design, user-friendly technology and applications that can’t be done without make the Apple Watch a very popular product in North America, Western Europe and Asia.” But make no mistake, classic watches still have a loyal audience. According to Neil Mawston, Executive Director of Strategy Analytics, while “young buyers are turning to smart watches and digital objects, analog wristwatches remain popular with older consumers.”
Time is running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer
In the report, Steven Waltzer is adamant about Switzerland’s position in the global smartwatch market: “Traditional Swiss watch manufacturers, such as Swatch and Tissot, are losing the war of so-called watches Smart. Apple Watch offers a better product through more diversified sales channels and attracts young consumers who increasingly want to wear connected accessories. quarterly sales, Notes Macrumors. However, 2019 marks a turning point, as it is the first full year that Apple has overtaken its Swiss analogue competitors.
Steven Waltzer concludes: Swiss watch brands no longer have the opportunity to make an impact in the field of smart watches. Perhaps time is running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer and others.” For Analysts at Strategy Analytics, the future of the watch is part of the digital evolution. A sector largely dominated by Tim Cook’s company. But Apple’s strategy goes beyond just the connectivity of its watches.
Apple Watch or Apple’s strategic positioning in healthcare
As Charlie Wood, our colleague at Business Insider US, notes, smartwatches are increasingly turning into health accessories. Tim Cook’s previous statements seem to be a good indication of Apple’s willingness to strengthen its efforts in this area. “In the future, when you look back and wonder what Apple’s greatest contribution to humanity has been, it will be health,” Apple’s CEO told CNBC in an interview with the U.S. channel on January 8, 2019. “We take what has been done with institutions and give the individual the power to manage their health,” he concludes, commenting on the latest features of the Apple Watch, such as electrocardiogram (ECG) or arrhythmia notifications.
A week later, Tim Cook shared the story of an Apple Watch user on his Twitter account. She claims that the connected object saved her husband’s life: “This week the new Apple Watch saved my husband’s life. In two days she diagnosed her with atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder) and 150 bpm. He went to the emergency room, which he never did. Turns out he had blocked arteries. Two stents later, it’s like new! I’m telling the world. Thank you!”