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    October 25, 2016

    Smartwatch sales dip by 51.6% year-over-year, show slowing growth

    smartwatch sales

    A new market intelligence report has revealed that smartwatch sales have slowed, resulting in a massive 51.6% dip year-over-year.

    Is anyone buying smartwatches anymore? Or has everyone who’ll buy a smartwatch bought one? That’s the question on the table as market intelligence firm IDC have reported that smartwatch shipments have dipped by 51.6% year-over-year for the third quarter of 2016.

    While that’s bad news for nearly every manufacturer, it’s particularly worrying for Apple, which saw shipments drop by a figure of 71.6%. IDC estimates that Apple only sold 1.1 million Apple Watches in the third quarter of 2016, compared with 3.9 million in 2015.

    Read: Apple announces the Apple Watch Series 2; its second wearable

    Of course, a drop in sales figures is to be expected as Apple launched the new Apple Watch Series 2 (and upgraded Series 1) at the end of the quarter – leaving final figures to be debated as we enter both a new calendar and fiscal year.

    However, not all is doom and gloom; one manufacturer exceeding all expectations is Garmin, which saw its sales increase by 324% year-over-year. The result has placed Garmin in second-place amongst smartwatch vendors, and has left Apple to reposition its wearables in the same arena Garmin competes in; that of health and fitness as opposed to fashion.


    Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, cites to that end that “…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.”

    Read: Apple reportedly failed to add cellular connectivity to its next Watch

    What are your thoughts on the overall decrease in smartwatch sales? What would compel you to buy your first smartwatch, or upgrade to a new one? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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