Apple outsells entire Swiss watch industry in 2019

More than 31 million wearables were shipped worldwide

Apple outsold the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019 by 10 million units as consumers increasingly flock from traditional watches to more computerized timepieces.

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In 2019, the tech behemoth shipped 31 million smartwatches worldwide, while Swiss watch brands as a whole shipped a mere 21 million watches by comparison, according to estimates by research firm Strategy Analytics. The estimated figures represent a healthy growth of 36 percent from the 22.5 million sold the year prior, the firm estimated.

"A blend of attractive design, user-friendly tech and sticky apps makes the Apple Watch wildly popular in North America, Western Europe and Asia," said Steven Waltzer, Strategy Analytics senior analyst.

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Swiss has been seen as one of the world’s most iconic watchmaking brands since its entry into the timepiece industry in the mid-80s. The watches were first created for durability featuring nylon straps and composite cases, according to Dmarge. The water-resistant watches remain a staple of the brand today. However, in an effort to showcase its versatility, the brand started making dress watches featuring diamond dials, all of which are durable, according to Dmarge.

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But the niche gadget has surged in popularity among young people since its debut in April of 2015. Each incarnation pushes the envelope of technology and design a bit further. The latest series debuted in September offers retina display that never sleeps, according to Apple.

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Apple's routinely upgraded designs and features continue to pose a threat to traditional watchmakers, Waltzer said.

“Traditional Swiss watchmakers, like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars," Waltzer said. "Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wristwear. 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.”

Victorinox Swiss Army

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In its latest earnings report, Apple reported its iPhone, wearables and services drove the company's revenue and earnings to an all-time high.

During the last three months of 2019, the company earned more than $10 billion from its wearables, smart home gadgets and accessories.

The figure surpassed sales of the company's iPad which racked in more than $5 billion and the iPhone which brought in more than $7 billion during the same time period.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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