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While we already knew that the Nintendo Switch had a banner year in the video game market, it looks like it had a similarly impressive showing in the overarching world of technology, too. Out of all the big tech devices sold this year, the Switch managed to crack the top-five list.
Based on a recent report from USA Today, the Nintendo Switch was the fifth highest selling tech device of 2017, coming in behind all of the usual suspects from the Apple, Amazon and Samsung camps.
All told, the report has the Nintendo Switch pushing out 15 million units this past year, which only accounts for 10 months since the device launched on March 3, 2017. While that's an impressive feat and even outpaced the PlayStation 2's first year on the market, it's hard to compete with the general tech world. You have to remember consoles are primarily sold to folks interested in playing video games, while all of the other big tech devices of the year are enticing to a much broader audience.
The fourth biggest tech device of 2017 was actually the Apple Watch, coming in at 20 million units sold. Next up was the Amazon Echo Dot, pushing 24 million units out the door. In second place was the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, selling a combined 33 million units.
Still, if you ever thought the iPhone's dominance was potentially waning, this past year's sales paint a very different picture. While items two through four on the list were within striking distance of each other, the number one tech item of 2017 was the iPhone, selling a whopping 223 million units. That's seven times the number of units sold by the second place Samsung Galaxy and just shy of 15 times the number of Switch consoles sold.
Outside of the potential market, it's also worth noting that, for much of 2017, the Switch was pretty hard to track down for the average consumer. Plenty of folks wanted to buy the device and were unable to due to limited supply and this was despite Nintendo ramping up production of the portable/home console hybrids. I'm not suggesting the Switch would have had any chance of catching up to the iPhone, but it seems plausible it could have shifted to the fourth or even third spot if more units had been on the shelf.
Outside of new console hype, what really drove the sales for the Switch was an impressive list of first-year games. Launching with a new Zelda offering is a good start, but Nintendo kept the hits coming with Mario Kart, Splatoon 2, Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. That was bolstered by some solid third-party support and plenty of indie darlings.