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Apple Watch Market Share Slips As Smartwatch Shipments Surge

The Apple Watch lost market share in the 2016 first quarter, slipping from the previous quarter, while the overall global smartwatch market grew 223 per cent annually, according to Strategy Analytics.

Strategy found that global smartwatch shipments reached 4.2 million units for the quarter, with the Apple Watch capturing a 52 per cent share of the market, sliding from 63 per cent in the prior quarter.

With the Apple Watch having launched in April last year, year-on-year comparisons for the period are not available.

“Global smartwatch growth is being driven by consumer demand for Apple, Android Wear and Tizen models across North America, Western Europe and Asia,” Rajeev Nair, Strategy senior analyst, commented.

“On a sequential basis, global smartwatch shipments fell 48 per cent from 8.1 million in Q4 2015 to 4.2 million in Q1 2016, due to seasonality trends.”

Samsung, meanwhile, shipped 0.6 million smartwatches, up from 0.4 million year-on-year and down from 1.3 million in the previous quarter, capturing 14 per cent of the market worldwide in claiming second position.

While Apple and Samsung lead the market, Neil Mawston, Strategy executive director, observed that competition is coming from other manufacturers.

“Apple Watch and Samsung Gear models are expanding fast across dozens of countries, but competition from LG, Motorola and others is ramping up fast,” Mawston commented.

With Apple early adopters having purchased their smartwatches and now that “all of the holiday gifts have been unwrapped”, Cliff Raskind, Strategy director, noted that “it would seem the honeymoon for version one of the Apple Watch is over”.

“Future traction for Apple Watch 2 will be closely linked to compelling apps that better exploit the usability of wearable tech, while offering autonomous 4G connectivity and enhanced battery life – all of which are in rather short supply today,” Raskind stated.

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