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

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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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.