Sales of the Apple Watch more than halved in the second quarter, with new figures from researcher IDC suggesting chief executive Tim Cook's first significant product is failing to live up to expectations. That compares to the 5.1 million intelligent timepieces that were delivered in the 2015 quarter, and represents a 32% decline.
Smartwatch vendors shipped 3.5m units in the second quarter of 2016, which was down substantially from the 5.1m shipped a year ago. However, it still dominates the smartwatch market with a share of 47 percent, down from 72 percent a year ago. Lenovo (+75%) and LG Electronics (+26%) each shipped 0.3M and the remaining shipments were contributed by Garmin (+25%) and other undisclosed companies.
Apple was the only smartwatch maker to report a year-over-year decline in shipments. Apple's sales are sure to boom towards the tail end of the year once the Apple Watch 2 launches and rival companies are already seeing growth, though whether that will continue in the face of Apple's imposing offering remains to be seen.
IDC's senior research analyst for Mobile Device Trackers, Jitesh Ubrani, commented, "Consumers have held off on smartwatch purchases since early 2016 in anticipation of a hardware refresh, and improvements in WatchOS are not expected until later this year, effectively stalling existing Apple Watch sales".
Analysts have estimated that it sold 12m units in its first year, more than the iPhone during its initial 12 months on sale, but below many observers' initial expectations for the first launch into a new hardware category since Mr Cook took over as Apple's chief executive. Here's a quick rundown of how an Apple Watch - or any smartwatch that wants to stand out - can rekindle the market's interest in new watches. Still, adding another day's worth of battery to the next Apple Watch might address the complaint that a smartwatch just gives you one more thing you need to keep in mind to charge each night.
The big drop doesn't mean the smartwatch market isn't growing though, or that Apple has lost, Kay emphasized.
But, as IDC research manager Ramon Llamas pointed out, key vendors like Casio, Fossil, and Tag Heuer are making waves.