Sales of Smartwatches Are Going Down Fast


Maybe not everyone is convinced they need a smartwatch? According to a new industry report from IDC out this morning, smartwatch shipments experienced “significant” declines in the third quarter, as total shipments were down 51.6 percent from the same time last year.

Just 2.7 million units were shipped in Q3 2016 versus 5.6 million in Q3 2015. While IDC offers several explanations as to why sales are dropping – including issues related to launch timings, Android Wear delays, and more – the numbers still indicate how smartwatches are having a hard time finding traction among a majority of consumers.

Of course, we need to keep in mind that Apple Watch is the market leader among smartwatches – its Series One device accounted for the majority of shipments in the quarter (1.1 million units shipped, a 72 percent year-over-year decline). That means its ups and downs will have an outsize impact on the industry’s numbers at large.

For starters, IDC points out that the third quarter of last year was the first time the Apple Watch had widespread retail availability following its limited online launch. That could have helped boost its sales.

Meanwhile, thanks to news leaks and reports, many consumers knew that the second generation of the Apple Watch was going to be announced in September. Those in the market for Apple’s wearable probably held off on buying until the new device arrived. And the watch was only available during the last two weeks of September, IDC says.

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