More than 100 million people wear an Apple Watch. Based on my estimates, Apple surpassed the important adoption milestone this past December. The Apple Watch has already helped usher in a new paradigm shift in computing, and Apple is still only getting started with what is possible on the wrist. New services designed specifically for Apple Watch (such as Fitness+) are being released. The wrist’s utility continues to be unveiled thanks to new hardware and software features revolving around health monitoring.
It took five-and-a-half years for the Apple Watch installed base to surpass 100 million people. As shown in Exhibit 1, the installed base’s growth trajectory has not been constant or steady over the years. Instead, the number of people entering the Apple Watch installed base continues to accelerate. The 30 million new people that began wearing an Apple Watch in 2020 nearly exceeded the number of new Apple Watch wearers in 2015, 2016, and 2017 combined.
The next exhibit takes a look at Apple Watch adoption as a percentage of the iPhone installed base. Since an iPhone is required to set up an Apple Watch, the iPhone installed base is a good proxy for the size of Apple Watch’s addressable market. There are a few exceptions to this such as Family Setup, which allows family members who don’t have iPhones to get set up with their own Apple ID and cellular Apple Watch.