Shipments don’t necessarily paint a complete picture of sales, but a new smartwatch shipment report from Canalys suggests that the Apple Watch has maintained its global leadership position for the second quarter of 2018. There’s also a surprise: Apple’s more expensive cellular model is proving popular, and even helping some carriers retain their customers.

According to Canalys, Apple was the world leader in smartwatch shipments during the quarter, jumping 30 percent year over year to 3.5 million units. Yet its total share of the market dipped from 43 percent to 34 percent as rivals including Fitbit and Garmin mounted successful comebacks, targeting “distinct customer segments” with new products.

Earlier this year, Canalys declared that Apple had “won the wearables game,” but the competition clearly isn’t close to finished. Today’s report suggests that “stellar” work by Apple’s competitors had led the category to global quarterly sales of over 10 million units, up markedly over the prior quarter, though below 2017’s record holiday quarter.

While only 250,000 of the Apple Watches were shipped to Asia (notably excluding the large market in China), Canalys noted that around 60 percent were the LTE version of the Apple Watch Series 3. That was enough to make the cellular model “the best-shipping smartwatch in Asia” for the quarter, Canalys said, which was unexpected to say the least: Materials aside, the LTE model is Apple’s most expensive version of the Watch, and the only one that requires ongoing monthly service charges after the initial purchase (to say nothing of…

[SOURCE]