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Apple Sold More Watches Than The Entire Swiss Industry In 2019

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A consulting firm, Strategy Analytics has revealed that the Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019. The Apple Watch sold 30.7 million units of smartwatches worldwide in 2019 compared to 21.1 million for all Swiss watch brands put together.


“Analog wristwatches remain popular among older consumers, but younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerized wristwear.


“Traditional Swiss [watchmakers], like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars,” Strategy Analytics said in the report.


“The Apple Watch has emerged as a status symbol of its own and offers a competitive alternative to mid-range Swiss watches.  Apple’s massive customer base means that converting just a small percentage of iPhone users to Apple Watch users yields volume in the millions,” Steven Waltzer, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said to CNN Business.


Apple Watches
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference.   Photo: REUTERS/Mason Trinca
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According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), Swiss watch exports have risen. However, it is still dwarfed by the huge sales numbers the Apple watch boasts.


According to data from the FH, Swiss Watch exports totaled 20.6 million for 2019. These do not account for shipments within Switzerland. Explaining why Strategy Analytics’ numbers for the industry are higher. Swiss watch exports also fell 13% year-on-year in 2019.


“The window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing. Time may be running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer, and others,” Strategy Analytics said.

Super-premium swiss watches have a higher profit margin

In response to the popularity of smartwatches, brands like TAG Heuer have launched their own smartwatches.


It is however believed that although Apple watches have more numbers in terms of sales, its profit margin may not be as high as the premium Swiss watch brands, according to Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics.


“We believe Apple Watch is profitable, but not as profitable as some of the super-premium Swiss [watchmakers],” He told CNBC in an email.


Ramon Llamas, research director at market research firm IDC, says that Swiss watches personified “luxury, position, and affluence.” And he doesn’t see it as the end of the road for Swiss Watches.


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