SALES OF the Apple Watch took a beating in the third quarter of 2016, with the company bagging less than five per cent of the global wearables market.
So says IDC, which claims that Apple sold just 1.1 million watches during the three months ending September, a 71 per cent decline compared to the 3.9 million sold this time last year. This gave the firm a measly 4.9 per cent share of the global market in Q3, despite having bagged a 17.5 per cent share in the third quarter of 2015.
"Apple's decision to launch its second-generation watches in mid-September, towards the end of the quarter, did contribute to its year-over-year decline in 3Q16," IDC said.
"However, the primary reasons for the downturn were an ageing lineup and an unintuitive user interface. Though both issues have been addressed with the latest generation watches, Apple's success will likely be muted as the smartwatch category continues to be challenged."
Oddly, these figures come as Apple CEO Tim Cook has been out bigging-up sales of the Apple Watch, telling Reuters that sales are currently through the roof.
"Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year," Cook said.
"Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch."
Back to IDC's figures, and the bean counters show that Samsung had a pretty good three months when it came to smartwatch sales.
While it sold less than Apple, with a reported one million wearables shipped during Q3, IDC notes that this shows 89.9 per cent growth compared to this time last year, and saw the firm's share of the market increase from 2.4 per cent to 4.5 per cent.
Fitness tracker makers continue to dominate the market, though. Fitbit, which is reportedly planning to buy smartwatch maker Pebble, claimed 23 per cent of the market with 5.3 million trackers sold, followed by Xiaomi and Garmin which shifted 3.8 million and 1.8 million, respectively.
Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, remarked: "Where smartwatches were once expected to take the lead, basic wearables now reign supreme.
"Simplicity is a driving factor and this is well reflected in the top vendor list as four out of five offer a simple, dedicated fitness device.
"Meanwhile, from a design perspective, many devices are focusing on fashion first while allowing the technology to blend in with the background." µ
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