Smartwatch market sales down in 3Q16, Apple tops

apple-watchNet smartwatch volume has fallen by 51.6 percent to 2.7 million units in 3Q16, compared to 5.6 million units shipped in 3Q15.

Though the drop may be partially due to falling user demand, part of it can also be justified by the timing of smartwatch launches by leading providers.

3Q15 saw the widespread retail launch of Apple Watch, after a limited online launch, hence seeing more sales figures accredited to it.

Apple Watch 2 was launched by the second last week of 3Q16.

Hence, most of the sales figures of the second edition smartwatch will be reflected in the next quarter result, reveal experts.

Also, launch of Android Wear 2.0 by Google has been delayed till early 2017, while Samsung Gear S3, announced at IFA in September, has also not been released.

Analysts also reveal that the usage of smartwatches may be limited to some users, especially those focusing on fitness.

Hence, the trend in smartwatch sales, as compared to that of smartphones, is unpredictable and may not resemble the latter.

Earlier, the global wearable market was predicted to grow by 44.4 percent to 111.1 million in 2016, to touch 214.6 million units by 2019 at a CAGR of 28 percent, as per IT market research agency IDC.

ALSO READ: Wearable market to grow 44 percent to 111 million units in 2016

Top Five Smartwatch Vendors

# Apple: Apple witnessed 41.3 percent of sales, summing to 1.1 million units.

Although leading the list, Apple also posted the second largest fall in sales YoY.

The decline can mainly be attributed to the popularity of first-generation watches in 2015.

The report also estimates that slashed prices and enhanced user experience may result in a sequential rebound in 4Q16.

# Garmin: Garmin observed 600,000 units shipped, grabbing 20.5 percent sales and posting the largest increase in sales YoY.

The growth has been mainly attributed to increasing ConnectIQ-enabled smartwatches and the addition of the fenix Chronos.

Garmin centers on health and fitness as opposed to rival multi-purpose smartwatches, edging it closer to Apple while moving ahead of Samsung.

# Samsung: Samsung witnessed 400,000 units sold with a 14.4 percent market share, owing mainly to the popularity of its Gear S2 smartwatches.

Gear S2 features full-time cellular connectivity and is soon to be followed by the Gear S3.

Gear S3 can be seen in both a Bluetooth-only version and a cellular version, with expected launch by 2016 end.

# Lenovo: Lenovo (Motorola) was impacted most by the YoY decline with 100,000 units sold, gaining only a 3.4 market share.

This was owing to multiple channels selling Moto 360 Gen. 1 and 2, alongside reduced Moto 360 Sport smartwatch availability.

Also, Motorola has not introduced a new upgrade to its smartwatch range in 3Q16.

# Pebble: Pebble, also witnessed a sales of 100,000 units, owning 3.2 percent of the market share in 3Q16.

Pebble, though launched its first smartwatch with Kickstarter campaign in 2012 followed by various upgraded models, failed to achieve mass success.

Earlier this year, it re-launched its Kickstarter campaign, and announced Pebble 2 by the third quarter end.

Pebble 2 packs a heart-rate sensor and centers on fitness related uses.

RELATED: Apple’s smartwatch share dips to 52% in Q1 2016 from 63%

Apple Watch Series 2 features a faster dual-core processor, GPS radio, brighter display, enhanced battery, and water resistance down to 50 meters.

At the same time, Google Android 2.0 will feature an added Play Store and improved Smart Reply feature, alongside increased screen size, and GPS and LTE connectivity.

And, the Samsung Gear S3 will be designed in durable stainless steel, with 1.3-inch AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass SR+ protection, built-in GPS, upcoming support for iPhone, and upped battery capacity.

Vina Krishnan

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