Conflicting report claims smartwatch shipments grew 60 percent in Q3

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,597   +124
Staff member

Market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) late last month pointed to data from its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker indicating 2.7 million smartwatches were shipped during the third quarter of 2016.

That’s an alarming 51.6 percent drop compared to the 5.6 million units IDC said shipped during the same period a year ago although according to rival firm Canalys, that’s not the case at all.

Canalys said in a recent release that despite reports to the contrary, third quarter shipments of smartwatches exceeded 6.1 million which represents an increase of 60 percent year-over-year. The one thing they can both agree on, however, is that Apple led the market thanks to the recent launch of the Series 1 and Series 2 models.

Canalys’ data indicates that Apple shipped 2.8 million smartwatches in the third quarter with a market share of 45.6 percent compared to IDC’s claims of 1.1 million units shipped with a 41.3 percent share of the market. IDC’s top five vendor list includes Garmin, Samsung, Lenovo and Pebble in that order while Canalys has Samsung in second place, Fitbit taking the bronze, Garmin in fourth and Pebble bringing up the rear.

With any luck, the next couple of quarters should provide a better indication of the health of the smartwatch market.

If someone wants a smartwatch, there’s no better time to purchase one than during the holidays or shortly after. Samsung’s latest entry, the Gear S3, is now available to pre-order and should be launching later this month and Google’s Android Wear 2.0 update is on track for an early 2017 arrival barring any further delays.

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Posts: 8,645   +3,286
The only smart thing about these gadgets is the manufacturer trying to put the squeeze on consumers. A proper activity tracker is a good idea to buy if you lead an active lifestyle though, they're very helpful.


Posts: 583   +320
Applewatch is a piece of jewelry. It's smartwatch functions are mostly passive. It measures your activity...that's it. Most of the actual app functions aren't very easy or efficient to use when you could simply use your phone.
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Posts: 2,518   +1,804
Smart watch shipments are "up". Depends on how you look at it.
If that sold 100, then sold 200, they could claim they increased 100%
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Posts: 583   +320
I honestly don't understand how they get people to spend $100 or more on a Fitbit.

Fitbit is something I wouldn't spend more than $29.99 on - and would expect to be available at every single Walgreens or Rite Aid.

It doesn't look or feel like a premium product in any shape or form.
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Posts: 658   +200
Why would people buy these? For the same reason they buy any piece of jewelry. If it looks good (newest Samsung, Huwui, LG Urbane) then you have a great looking watch that earns compliments before they even realize it's a smart watch. A soft (silent) vibration at your wrist when a text or call comes through while you're in a meeting, you glance down to see if it's important enough to take during the meeting or can wait. You've been outbid on ebay? Same notification, right on your wrist. Many, many positives with one negative: the price. I know many people who want them but don't get them because of the price. I bought my LG Urbane when it dropped to $150, a price I could swallow for a luxury item.