Sports watches help the fourth-quarter revenue hit a record high, and Apple accelerates the layout of sports

Reporter|Yang Yi

On October 28, 2022, Beijing time, Apple, an American technology company, announced its fourth-quarter results for fiscal 2022.

The report shows that as of September 24, 2022, the company’s revenue in the fourth quarter reached a record $90.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 8.1%, higher than the market’s expected $88.9 billion; net profit was $20.71 billion, and gross profit margin reached 42.3%, also setting a record.

Among them, the wearable device business, which is dominated by sports watches, has made outstanding contributions, recording revenue of US$9.6 billion, which is higher than the US$8.8 billion previously estimated by Wall Street.

In fact, since 2022, the performance of smartwatches in the global market has continued to improve.

According to Canalys, a market research firm, in September, global shipments of wearable wristband devices increased by 2.0% in the second quarter of 2022 to 41.7 million units, returning to growth after a 3.7% decline in the first quarter. Among them, the growth rate of smart watches reached 9.3%.

In terms of brands, Apple dominates the global wristband watch market with a 26% market share, with shipments increasing by 6% year-on-year to 8.4 million units, more than double the number two Samsung.

According to Counterpoint Research, in the second quarter of 2022, the sales of smartwatches in the Chinese market increased by nearly 50% year-on-year.

The continuous high performance has kept the industry’s market expectations for smart watches optimistic.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics previously released wearables research, estimating that smartwatch sales will reach an annual growth rate of 17% in 2022, and that this strong growth momentum is expected to continue until 2027.

To a certain extent, sports watches can gain the favor of consumers in the domestic market, thanks to the increase in outdoor sports in recent years.

Taking cycling and camping projects as an example, according to iiMedia Research, the scale of China’s bicycle market in 2021 will be 194.07 billion yuan, and it is expected to exceed 200 billion yuan in 2022; and in 2021, the scale of camping in China’s core economic market will reach 74.75 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 62.5%; driving the market size to 381.23 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 58.5%.

Among them, sports watches highly match the needs of outdoor sports consumers with functions such as health monitoring, environmental information monitoring, and sports data recording.

Also according to data from iiMedia Research, 67.9% of the surveyed users said that exercise records are the main reason for them to buy smartwatches.

Of course, as the world’s largest listed company, Apple’s approach to sports is not as simple as producing sports watches.

Since May of this year, Apple has added 60 new sports-related job requirements to its job site as it seeks to build a workforce to expand its sports business.

In June, Apple reached a 10-year, $2.5 billion media rights deal with the Major League Soccer League (MLS) that will exclusively stream every MLS game starting in 2023.

In September of this year, according to the New York Times, Apple successfully won the main naming rights of the NFL Super Bowl halftime show for $50 million. The title of the project in the previous ten years was PepsiCo.

Previously, Apple also planned to spend more than one billion US dollars to package NFL Media, NFL Sunday Ticket and other businesses, and then become one of the largest business partners in NFL history.