Apple Watch Reportedly Gobbled Up 50 Percent Of Smartwatch Market During 2015

It didn't take long for Apple to rise up and claim the top spot in the smartwatch market, at least unofficially. Apple still hasn't revealed sales or shipment figures for its Apple Watch line of wearables, but a new report by market research firm Juniper Research pegs Apple as having shipped 51.5 percent of the world's smartwatches in 2015.

One thing to note before performing a little surface level dissection is that the report refers to Apple's shipments, not necessarily actual sales to consumers. That's an important distinction, though to be fair, we haven't heard any reports of retailers or Apple sitting on mountains of unsold Apple Watch inventory.

Apple Watch

Semantics aside, the study puts the number of smartwatches sold around the world in 2015 at 17.1 million. If Apple owns 51.5 percent of that figure, then its shipments exceeded 8.8 million Apple Watch devices, an impressive sum considering the wearable's short time on the market -- Apple Watch launched to retail in late April.

Bear in mind that the aforementioned report only includes smartwatches, not the wearables market as a whole. That means it excludes fitness bands like the FitBit, Microsoft Band, and other similar wrist-wearables

Apple's success in the smartwatch category isn't surprising. It waited until after others tested the market with first-run devices before jumping in itself with a polished (though not imperfect) product. One of the advantages the Apple Watch has going for it is a large category of compatible apps -- there are around 10,000 apps that work with Apple Watch, versus around 4,000 apps for Android Wear devices.