According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, the sales of smartwatches in the fourth quarter of 2015 outpaced sales of Swiss watches for the first time. The company claims that during the holiday quarter, a total of 8.1 million smartwatches were shipped, while 7.9 million Swiss watches were shipped.
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Of those 8.1 million smartwatch shipments, Apple and Samsung led the way. The former accounted for 63 percent of the market, coming out to roughly 5.1 million units, while the latter held 16 percent, or 1.3 million units.
With 8.1 million smartwatches shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015, that’s a 316 percent increase over the 1.9 million units shipped in Q4 of 2014. Obviously the big difference between the two years here is that Apple Watch was released in April of 2015, so Android manufacturers and companies like Pebble were the sole manufacturers in 2014.
In Q4 of 2014, Swiss watch shipments were at 8.3 million, meaning that shipments fell by 5 percent year-over-year to the 7.9 million shipped in the 2015 holiday quarter. The report notes that smartwatches manufactured by Swiss companies, like Tag Heuer, accounted for just 1 percent of the smartwatch.
Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston had the following to say 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.”
A report from Strategy Analytics during the summer of last year claimed that Apple accounted for an estimated 75% of the smartwatch market during Q2 of 2015. The decrease in marketshare since then could perhaps suggest that Apple Watch propelled the general smartwatch idea to be more mainstream, prompting Android users to go out and purchase models compatible with their phones. You can view the full chart below: