Despite growing 86% year over year, Strategy Analytics described the global smartwatch market in Q1 2015 as “subdued and in a holding pattern” as it awaited the arrival of the Apple Watch.
It’s unlikely that Samsung would agree with this assessment. It saw the market share of its Tizen smartwatches drop sharply since early last year with the arrival of Android Wear. They accounted for 47.8% of the market in Q2 2014. Spring forward about a year to Q1 2015 and that slice of the pie has dropped to 23.1%. In stark contrast, Android Wear’s market share has climbed to 55.1%.
The launch of the Apple Watch in April will likely push Samsung’s Tizen smartwatch market share (and that of every other competitor) even lower. Strategy Analytics expects that Apple could ship as many as 8 million Apple Watches in the first half of the year to give it what is likely to be a dominant market share.
In a bid to stem the tide, Samsung has been working on a “more perfect” smartwatch. This watch is most likely the oft-rumoured Samsung Gear A (also known as the Samsung Orbis). To be Samsung’s first smartwatch with a circular display, it is also expected to come with a rotating bezel, an Exynos processor, a revamped user interface and other improvements.
The Samsung Gear A is expected to launch in early September at IFA 2015 alongside the Galaxy Note 5.