Smartwatches outsell Swiss watches for the first time

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By Larry Banks

A new report from Strategy Analytics this week says that sales of smartwatches in Q4 2015 beat those of Swiss watches for the first time. The firm claims that in the holiday quarter, 8.1 million smartwatches were shipped compared with 7.9 million Swiss watches.

Out of the 8.1 million smartwatches, Apple and Samsung were the market leaders with the former accounting for around 64 percent sales, at 5.1 million units, with the South Korean company managing 16 percent or 1.3 million units.

With 8.1 million devices shipped in Q4 of 2015, it represents a 316 percent increase over the 1.9 million units shipped in the last quarter of 2014. The main difference between those years is that Apple Watch was released in April 2015, meaning that Android companies such as Pebble were the only manufacturers in 2014.

In Q4 2014, Switch watches racked up 8.3 million units, so shipments fell by 5 percent year over year compared with the 7.9 million shipped in the holiday quarter of 2015. The report also says that smartwatches made by Swiss companies such as Tag Heuer account for just 1 percent of smartwatches sold.

Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston recently said the following about smartwatches overtaking Swiss watches:

“The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches. The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away. Swiss brands, like Tag Heuer, accounted for a tiny 1 percent of all smartwatches shipped globally during Q4 2015, and they are long way behind Apple, Samsung and other leaders in the high-growth smartwatch category”.

Last year, a report from Strategy Analytics claimed Apple accounted for 75 percent of the smartwatch market in Q2 2015. The fall in marketshare since then might suggest that Apple made the smartwatch concept more mainstream, then prompting Android users to buy models compatible with their phones and boosting the whole market.

The full chart is included below:

Smartwatch Sales Strategy Analytics


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