Looking at the latest figures in smartwatch shipments, things don’t look great for the device being heralded as the future just a few years ago. Analysts, IDC, have reported that there has been a 51. 6% decrease n smartwatch sales, with only 2.7 million devices shipped in the third quarter of the year, compared to the 5.6 million shipped over the same period last year. Both Apple and Lenovo have suffered a 70%+ drop in sales.
“It has also become evident that at present smartwatches are not for everyone,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.
“Having a clear purpose and use case is paramount, hence many vendors are focusing on fitness due to its simplicity. However, moving forward, differentiating the experience of a smartwatch from the smartphone will 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.”
Looking past Apple and Lenovo, Gartner was the only vendor to experience an significant boost in sales at 325% over the year, bringing it to second place in vendor shipments with 20% of the market. It’s a bit of sunlight for the company who has noticed a severe decrease in GPS sales since the advent of the smartphone. Apple still remains the king of the smartwatch market, with over 41% of units shipped. Samsung’s sales rose to just 9% at third place, while Pebble, one of the pioneers of the smartwatch movement saw its sales fall 54.1%.
“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.”
Even the smartwatch market is looking grim, Apple’s new smartwatch release may have the potential to provide a boon to the industry. Google’s slowing of Android Wear updates could be more serious, since the operating system powers a large portion of available models. Apple has reportedly been closing down some of the pop-up kiosks to generate hype over its Apple Watch product, and it’s been noted that Google hardly discussed their product at their new product event from earlier this year.