Despite not breaking iPhone sales records after all, and failing to meet its overly optimistic expectations, Apple did manage to produce higher than ever total revenue between October and December 2017.
The high-priced iPhone X obviously played a central role in the company’s improved profitability, but strong holiday iPad shipments also made their (small) contribution to Cupertino’s rock-solid financial report.
“Other products” were on the rise as well, including the Apple Watch lineup, which is never officially detailed in its maker’s quarterly earnings statements. That’s where market research firms like Canalys come in, estimating the wearable family’s numbers surged a remarkable 32 percent year-over-year in calendar Q4 2017.
These 8 million units racked up in the final three months of last year represent the “highest ever number of shipments in a single quarter, not just for Apple, but for any wearable vendor”, according to Canalys.
Overall, more than 18 million Apple Watches were shipped worldwide in 2017, up by a staggering 54 percent from the 2016 tally of the iOS-compatible intelligent timepieces. Of the 18 mil, only 2.4M featured built-in cellular connectivity, which starts to sound like a pretty big number when you take a few things into consideration.
First, the price. Second, and most importantly, you have to remember the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 barely saw daylight on September 22. Even then, it offered “limited operator selection” in the UK, Germany and France, not to mention all the large markets it wasn’t able to tackle in a timely manner.
That said, it’s actually impressive the Series 3 cellular version accounted for 13 percent of global 2017 Apple Watch shipments, with the “regular” Series 3 at 35 percent, while Series 2 and older devices naturally commanded more than half of the pie.