It’s not looking good for the smartwatch market.
Shipments of smartwatches during the third quarter of 2016 dropped 51.6% year-over-year to 2.7 million devices, according to a Monday report by research firm International Data Corporation.
For the third quarter of 2015, roughly 5.6 million smartwatches were shipped, which the report’s authors note was when the Apple Watch just became available in retail stores and not just a “a limited online launch,” thus increasing the number of shipments.
The new version of the Apple Watch, which Apple
detailed in September, was only available during the last two weeks of 2016’s third quarter. Thus, shipments for that version did not boost the quarters numbers.
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IDC said that Google’s
decision to delay its Android Wear 2.0 operating system for smartwatches until 2017 caused device manufacturers to question if they should wait until after the holiday season to release new smartwatches, which could have affected shipments. Additionally, Samsung has yet to release its upcoming Gear S3 smartwatch.
With no big smartwatches available in the third quarter, vendors were left to sell “older, aging devices to satisfy customers,” the report said.
Even if there were newer, more powerful smartwatches available in the latest quarter, it’s unclear if consumers would be buying them in droves.
“It has also become evident that at present smartwatches are not for everyone,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement. “Having a clear purpose and use case is paramount, hence many vendors are focusing on fitness due to its simplicity.”
Apple is still the smartwatch leader, having shipped 1.1 million devices in the third quarter and owning 41.3% of the overall market. However, it’s shipments declined 71.6% in the third quarter, from the 3.9 million smartwatches it shipped in 2015 during the same time period.
With the new Apple Watch and a lower price, IDC believes that “Apple could be heading for a sequential rebound” in the fourth quarter of 2016.
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is the second biggest shipper of smartwatches with 600,000 of the devices shipped in the third quarter, followed by Samsung and Lenovo.