Apple was the only one of the world’s top five smartwatch vendors that reported falling wearables shipments, but still managed to maintain its leading position, according to the latest data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
The market research firm estimates Apple Watch shipments for the second calendar quarter of 2016 of being in the area of 1.6 million, which compares to the 3.6 million Apple Watch units estimated for the same period a year prior. As such, Apple Watch shipments are down 55% on a year-over-years basis, but Apple still controls 47% of the global smartwatch market, as pointed out by IDC.
Apple allegedly faces the same challenges as other OEMs, but the exposure of the Watch and brand through tactical marketing gives an advantage over its competitors the report reads.
“Consumers have held off on smartwatch purchases since early 2016 in anticipation of a hardware refresh, and improvemnets in WatchOS are not expected until later this year, effectively stalling existing Apple Watch sales,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Apple still maintains a significant lead in the market and unfortunately a decline for Apple leads to a decline in the entire market. Every vendor faces similar challenges related to fashion and functionality, and though we expect improvements next year, growth in the remainder of 2016 will likely be muted.”
Samsung ranks second in the IDC top five list with an estimated 600,000 smartwatches shipped in Q2 2016, accounting for 16% of the global market share. Lenovo came out third with an expected 300,000 wearables shipped, followed by LG Electronics with the same quantity. The top five list is closed out by Garmin with 100,000 units shipped.
Overall, during the second quarter smartwatch shipments saw a year-over-over year drop of 32%, according to the IDC. The total number of units shipped hardly reached 3.5 million, down from the 5.1 million shipped a year ago, the market research firm says.