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IDC: already small smartwatch market collapses
By Thom Holwerda on 2016-10-24 21:06:01

The worldwide smartwatch market experienced a round of growing pains in the third quarter of 2016 (3Q16), resulting in a year-over-year decline in shipment volumes. According to data from the International Data Corporation, (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, total smartwatch volumes reached 2.7 million units shipped in 3Q16, a decrease of 51.6% from the 5.6 million units shipped in 3Q15. Although the decline is significant, it is worth noting that 3Q15 was the first time Apple's Watch had widespread retail availability after a limited online launch. Meanwhile, the second generation Apple Watch was only available in the last two weeks of 3Q16.

Only 2.7 million units worldwide? That's a rounding error. Apple experienced a 72% year-over-year decline in sales, to just 1.1 million Apple Watches in Q3 2016. No wonder Apple is refusing to release sales figures for the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, there's no new Android Wear devices coming out this year, and the next big Wear update has been postponed to next year, so Wear is effectively dead. Samsung, Pebble, and the others barely even register.

Of course, IDC, etc. etc., but even if these figures are off by, say, 10%, the smartwatch market is still looking like a flop.

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