Apple Gets 31 Million New Siri Endpoints in 2019
Apple shipped 31 million Apple Watches in 2019, according to a new Strategy Analytics report. That’s 31 million new ways to interact with the Siri voice assistant and a sign that Apple is winning the smartwatch competition handily.
The popularity of the Apple Watch was very apparent in the last year. The number sold rose 36 percent from the 22.5 million sold in 2018. The new report points out that Apple Watches outsold more than just other smartwatches. Apple beat the entirety of the Swiss watch industry in sales by 10 million in 2019, falling 13% from the year before.
The report about Apple fits with other data gathered about wearable voice tech. A Gartner report last year estimated that consumers will spend $52 billion on wearable technology in 2020, a 27% uptick from 2019. Almost half of the market is smartwatches, a 34% growth that matches almost exactly the growth that Apple Watch sales saw in 2019. Apple’s dominance is h for its competitors to grapple with. Practically all smartwatches available get compared to the Apple Watch, and it rarely gets outcompeted except when it comes to price. Most importantly, all of those millions of Siri access points give Apple a reliable way to leverage its other Siri-powered devices, whether its the iPhone or the HomePod. If people want to integrate their smartwatch to its full capability, they’ll need to play in Apple’s sandbox.
The battle for some of the smartwatch market share isn’t entirely one-sided. The market is full of Apple Watch lookalikes like Xiaomi’s Mi Watch, which performs and looks like an Apple Watch, except for having the Xiaoai voice assistant instead of Siri and costs only half as much. Siri’s competitors in the U.S. are jumping in as well. Google bought Fitbit for $2.1 billion in November, less than a year after it acquired Fossil smartwatch technology. Amazon, meanwhile, has been looking for ways to add Alexa to existing smartwatches, like the Fitbit Versa 2 and the Xiaomi Amazefit smartwatch.
Wearable technology is improving as sensors and hardware and miniaturized and software is improved. Smartglasses with Heads-Up Displays like North Focals smart glasses and audio-only options like Amazon’s recently announced Echo Frames and the Bose Frames are becoming more and more practical. It’s telling that none of Amazon’s 16 new Alexa devices are smartwatches. Instead, the company is banking on the expected growth of other kinds of wearable tech. Smartwatches, especially Apple Watch, are the king of wearable tech for now, though.