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Canalys Estimates Apple Has Shipped Seven Million Watches, Fewer Than Some Projected

Apple sold more smartwatches from April through September than all other vendors combined sold over the past five quarters, Canalys reports.

Apple Inc.

Apple has shipped seven million Apple Watches since its introduction this spring, giving the technology giant a firm lead in the nascent smartwatch market, according to researcher Canalys.

That number falls shy of some Wall Street analysts’ expectations for Apple’s first new device category since 2010. But, for perspective, consider this: Apple sold more smartwatches from April through September than all other vendors combined sold over the past five quarters, Canalys reports.

And Apple needed to overcome a component supply issue that initially limited the Apple Watch’s availability.

Canalys analyst Chris Jones said Apple Watch shipments have been increasing, along with the wearable’s global availability. He predicts Apple will be able to maintain that momentum through the holiday quarter. Apple, of course, is mum on sales of the new device.

Apple has been working to build the market for the Apple Watch for the all-important December quarter. As the holiday period begins, the wearable is being sold in more countries and territories (32) and by more retailers. It boasts some fresh fashion touches, such as gold and rose gold aluminum cases for the Apple Watch Sport and more watch bands, and an updated version of the watch’s software, watchOS 2, promises more fluidly running apps and different watch faces.

The Apple Watch will face intensifying competition for consumers looking for a watch that does more than tell time. Among the devices vying for a spot on the wrist are the round-faced Samsung Gear S2, the second-generation Moto 360 and the 360 Sport and the first smartwatch from the high-end watchmaker Tag Heuer.

“People are still deciding whether it’s something they want to invest in,” Jones said. “Watches are not worn by everyone now. The phone can do a lot of notifications. So a lot of people are figuring out whether this is something they need.”

For the moment, fitness bands outsell smartwatches, with Fitbit and Xiaomi holding the lead.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.