Apple watch sales fall off a cliff

The guy walking down Market Street talking to his watch is going to stand out even more as a sore and somewhat absurd thumb.

Smartwatch sales fell off a cliff in the third quarter of this year, with shipments down 52 percent. But surely Apple is bucking the trend? Nope. Shipments of Apple’s watches fell 72 percent.

Those numbers come courtesy of market intelligence firm IDC.

Across all manufacturers, 2.7 million smartwatches were shipped this past quarter, compared to 5.6 million during the same period last year, IDC reported.

“At present smartwatches are not for everyone,” said IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani. “However, moving forward, differentiating the experience of a smartwatch from the smartphone will be key and we’re starting to see early signs of this as cellular integration is rising and as the commercial audience begins to pilot these devices.”

Apple still kept its spot as the “overall leader” of the global smartwatch market, said IDC, which put the Cupertino company’s market share at 70 percent.

With Lenovo and Pebble both seeing big drops in shipments, and Samsung increasing its shipments by only 9 percent, the standout for smartwatches was Garmin, which focuses on health and fitness, according to IDC, and saw shipments increase by 324 percent.


Photo: An Apple Watch (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)


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  • TrevorH

    If you’re counting 3Q shipments, Pebble was down because customers were preordering new models that came out in 4Q (and now shipping). Who wants to buy an old model Pebble when a new, better one was available to preorder for about $100?