It looks like the smartwatch market is slowing down. According to IDC, the worldwide smartwatch shipment for the third quarter of this year has declined by 51.6% compared to the same quarter last year.
All major companies have been affected by the decline. Take Apple for example, while it may still be the top smartphone vendor, its shipments dropped by a 71.6% compared to 3Q 2015. Other players like Pebble, and Lenovo also sees a decline of 54.1% and 73.3% respectively, while Samsung grew slightly by 9%. Not all is bleak for the smartwatch market though, Garmin sees a big surge, increasing by a whopping 324.2%.
Don’t be mistaken though, the smartwatch market is not dying. IDC notes that in last year’s report, Apple has just started offering its Watch to more end users, while this year, the Apple Watch Series 2 has only been around for about a month in the U.S., and is only starting to be rolled out to more countries (it started selling in Malaysia just last Friday).
“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.” — Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team.
Still, the market will probably not recover back to its former glory by the next quarter. Fortunately, since the market is relatively new with plenty of space for improvements, it will encourage manufacturers to introduce something new to attract more users like GPS, cellular connectivity and more.