Smartwatches out-shipped Swiss watches for the first time ever

The number of smartwatches shipped worldwide overtook Swiss watches for the first time ever, according to a new report by consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

In the three months to the end of 2015 a total of 8.1 million smartwatches were shipped compared with 7.9 million Swiss watches.

There was a 316% increase in the number of smartwatches shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 – up from 1.9 million.

Meanwhile, the number of Swiss watches shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015 declined by 5% on a year-over-year basis, down from 8.3 million in Q4 2014.

Global Smartwatch vs. Swiss Watch Shipments in Q4 2015

Global Shipments (Millions of Units) Q4 ’14 Q4 ’15
Smartwatch 1.9 8.1
Swiss Watch 8.3 7.9
Total 1.9 8.1
Global Shipments Growth: Year-over-Year (%) Q4 ’14 Q4 ’15
Smartwatch ~ 315.6%
Swiss Watch ~ -4.8%
Total 100.0% 100.0%
Source: Strategy Analytics

Apple and Samsung account for 80% of smartwatches shipped worldwide

Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We estimate global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in Q4 2015, rising a healthy 316 percent from 1.9 million in Q4 2014. Smartwatches are growing rapidly in North America, Western Europe and Asia.

“Apple Watch captured an impressive 63 percent share of the global smartwatch market in Q4 2015, followed by Samsung with 16 percent. Apple and Samsung together account for a commanding 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide.”

Apple Watch
Since the arrival of smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch pictured above, global demand for Swiss watches has decreased.

Global demand for Swiss watches is slowing down

Steven Waltzer, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “We estimate global Swiss watch shipments reached 7.9 million units in Q4 2015, falling 5 percent from 8.3 million in Q4 2014. Global demand for Swiss watches is slowing down, and major players like Swatch are struggling to find growth.”



The Swiss watch industry has been slow to react to the arrival of smartwatches

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches. The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away.

“Swiss brands, like Tag Heuer, accounted for a tiny 1 percent of all smartwatches shipped globally during Q4 2015, and they are long way behind Apple, Samsung and other leaders in the high-growth smartwatch category.”

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