Home Internet of Things Smartwatch market plunges in third quarter: IDC

Total smartwatch sales worldwide slipped by 51.6% in the third quarter of 2016, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2015, according to market intelligence provider IDC.

In its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the company said 2.7 million units were shipped in 3Q16, compared to 5.6 million in 3Q15.

It pointed out that 3Q15 was the first in which Apple's Watch was widely available while the second generation Apple product had been on sale only in the last two weeks of 3Q16.

IDC's wearables team research manager Ramon Llamas said: "The sharp decline in smartwatch shipment volumes reflects the way platforms and vendors are realigning.

"Apple revealed a new look and feel to watchOS that did not arrive until the launch of the second generation watch at the end of September. Google’s decision to hold back Android Wear 2.0 has repercussions for its OEM partners as to whether to launch devices before or after the holidays. Samsung’s Gear S3, announced at IFA in September, has yet to be released. Collectively, this left vendors relying on older, aging devices to satisfy customers."

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC mobile device trackers, added: "It has also become evident that at present smartwatches are not for everyone.

"Having a clear purpose and use case is paramount, hence many vendors are focusing on fitness due to its simplicity."

Ubrani said that in future, differentiating the experience of a smartwatch from the smartphone would be key "and we're starting to see early signs of this as cellular integration is rising and as the commercial audience begins to pilot these devices".

Top Five Smartwatch Vendors, Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth, 3Q 2016 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

3Q16 Unit Shipments

3Q16 Market Share

3Q15 Unit Shipments

3Q15 Market Share

Year-Over-Year Growth

1. Apple

1.1

41.3%

3.9

70.2%

-71.6%

2. Garmin

0.6

20.5%

0.1

2.3%

324.2%

3. Samsung

0.4

14.4%

0.4

6.4%

9.0%

4. Lenovo

0.1

3.4%

0.3

6.2%

-73.3%

5. Pebble

0.1

3.2%

0.2

3.3%

-54.1%

Others

0.5

17.2%

0.6

11.5%

-27.2%

Total

2.7

100.0%

5.6

100.0%

-51.6%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, 24 October

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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