The smartwatch market appears to be in a slump with a 50 percent decline in shipments year on year. However, the timing of Apple releases may have somewhat distorted the totals.
The figures come from analysts International Data Corporation and cover shipments to retailers rather than sales to consumers, though generally the two are closely linked.
Between July and September this year, the total number of smartwatches shipped worldwide is estimated by IDC at 2.7 million, down from 5.6 million in the same period last year. A large part of that is because Apple’s first smartwatch went on general retail sale during the third quarter last year, while its successor was only available for a couple of weeks of this year’s third quarter.
Take out Apple and the total has only dropped from 1.7 million to 1.6 million, though that’s still something of a surprise for such a relatively new market where continued growth should be expected.
The big winner is Garmin, which rose from 0.1 million to 0.6 million sales to take the number two slot in the market. That’s despite the figures only counting wrist devices that can run third party apps (such as the Vivoactive) and excluding dedicated fitness bands. IDC speculates this may be because marketing smartwatches for a specific purpose (such as fitness tracking) is more effective than trying to promote them as a mult-ifunction device.