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Smartwatch Industry Isn't Going Anywhere, Shipments Up By 1% In 2016

By Cameron , Feb 03, 2017 11:50 AM EST
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According to a report published by Strategy Analytics detailing the shipments of smartwatches from 2015 to 2016, the smartwatch industry is not going anywhere. In fact, it is increasing - well, by a mere one percent.

Smartwatch Industry Still Alive And Kicking

In the report, Neil Mawston, the Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said that the Global smartwatch shipment grew up by one percent annually from 8.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 8.2 million units on the fourth quarter of 2016. It was in the fourth quarter that marked a return of growth for the smartwatch industry after suffering from two consecutive quarters of declining volumes.

He then mentioned that the increase was due to the new product launches from Apple and coupled with a stronger seasonal demand in major developed markets such as U.S. and the U.K. The total shipments on all the Global smartwatch every year was 20.8 million units in 2015 and 21.1 million units in 2016, thus making an annual growth of one percent.

Apple Smartwatches Ranks Top And Samsung Second

Cliff Raskin, the Director at Stragey Analytics, also added that in their research they estimated that Apple has shipped a record of 5.2 million smartwatches worldwide and was able to capture a dominant 63 percent of market share in the fourth quarter of 2016, which is an annual two percent rise from the 5.1 million units shipped from the fourth quarter of 2015.

In Apple's case, the demand for the new Watch Series 2 as a holiday season gift in Western countries was surprisingly strong that it enabled Apple to clear a large amount of backlog of smartwatch inventory during that quarter.

As for Samsung, Steven Waltzer, the Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said that they estimated Samsung has shipped around 0.8 million smartwatches worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2016, dipping 38 percent annually from the 1.3 million units that were sold from the previous year. During that time, Samsung introduced the Gear S3 model, which was relatively late in the quarter and let it to have a negative impact on its overall smartwatch performance.

Thank You, Apple And Samsung, But We Demand More

Raskind finally added that the smartwatch industry is showing tentative signs of recovery, but that doe not mean it is heading towards a full-recovery or a sure success in the future to come. Currently, there are still several barriers and aspects of the smartwatch tech that needs growth and must be addressed.

In his statement, Samsung must consider making a much more exciting smartwatch or can choose to make it cheaper. As for Apple's case, they must engage closer with mobile operators to stock or subsidize its popular Watch portfolio. And for the component makers, they need to develop more accurate sensors for health and fitness tracking that consumers will trust and use more.

I can certainly agree with what Cliff Raskind said about what Samsung has to do with its smartwatch, specifically with the price. Call me cheap, but I don't want to be jogging with a $270 smartwatch on my wrist. The thing is, I jog off-road alone and I usually end up going to places with less people and more trees. Now, I'm not saying that the people in my town are thieves or bad people, but you just can't be too careful nowadays. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

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