Apple Watch loses market share as smartwatch shipments soar in Q1 2016

Variety of smartwatchesWhile numbers are still relatively small, smartwatch shipments continue to pick up steam. Research firm Strategy Analytics today reported that global smartwatch shipments reached 4.2 million units in the first quarter of 2016. This is a sharp 223% increase from the from 1.3 million units shipped the same quarter a year ago but down sequentially (unsurprisingly) from the 8.1 million shipments in the last quarter of 2015 “due to seasonality trends.”

Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market. It accounted for 52% of the global market with an estimated 2.2 million Apple Watches shipped during the quarter. While it remains comfortably ahead of its competition, its market share dropped from 63% the previous quarter. The report suggests that Apple’s lead will continue to erode until it announces a new and more powerful model.

“Now that many Apple early adopters have their smartwatches and all of the holiday gifts have been unwrapped, it would seem the honeymoon for version 1 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,” concluded Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics.

The latest rumours suggest that the Apple Watch will not undergo a major redesign until 2017. The next model, likely to be introduced this fall, is instead likely to benefit instead from upgraded internal hardware and minor cosmetic changes.

Samsung hung on to second place with 0.6 million smartwatches shipped. It also saw its market share continue to drop and it now accounts for 14% of the global market.

All other players were lumped into a “Others” category that saw its market share jump from 21% to 33% between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016. LG and Motorola in particular were called out as “ramping up fast.” There was no mention at all of Pebble.

Source : Strategy Analytics