Consumers happy to splash out on poor battery life and performance, but only with Apple

Despite being expensive and in extremely limited supply at launch, the Apple Watch has already established itself as the most popular wearable on the market.

That’s according to research firm Canalys, which says that Apple has managed to flog 4.2 million units of the timepiece.

The company “easily” eclipsed Fitbit, Xiaomi and other manufacturers of smartwatches and fitness bands, says Canalys, though the sales figures of these competing firms haven’t yet been revealed.

Canalys also says that Apple took the status of wearables top dog in the second quarter of this year.

“The Apple Watch is the most sophisticated smartwatch to date, and it has proved popular with Apple fans worldwide,” said Chris Jones, the vice president and principal analyst at Canalys.
 
However, Jones adds that it’s far from perfect, and needs to be treated to better battery life, slicker performance and improved sensor integration.

These same problems plagued wearable devices as a whole, though Canalys says Apple Watch buyers were still happy to take the plunge, despite being made to pay inflated fees. The cheapest model costs £299, while the most expensive version will set you back over £10,000.

TrustedReviews’ gave the Apple Watch a poor 6/10 rating, identifying buggy software, battery issues, third-party apps and gimmicky features as major weaknesses.

However, Canalys has lavished praise on Apple for the work it put into the Apple Watch software development kit (SDK).

“Apple has done an excellent job of designing its WatchKit SDK, which it delivered quickly and comprehensively,” said Canalys, with Jones adding that the Apple Watch’s success hinges on the quality of third-party apps.

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While 4.2 million may initially seem to be a surprisingly high figure, Canalys says Apple could, and perhaps should, have sold even more.

Unfortunately for Tim Cook and co, the Watch hit the shelves way after Christmas Day 2014, and supply issues hindered shipments in the period immediately after launch.

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