in The Business of Jewelry on January 20, 2016
Despite a late arrival to the wearables market, Apple claimed the top spot in terms of device sales, according to new research from Juniper out this week, which stated that the Apple Watch accounted for over 50 percent of smartwatch sales in 2015. Even more impressive is the fact Apple’s Watch really only launched in late April which means it claimed the majority of the market with less than a year of sales under its belt.
Meanwhile, rival smartwatch platform Android Wear earned less than 10 percent of sales in 2015, the report said, even though the software now powers watches made by a number of companies, including Huawei, Motorola, Sony, ASUS, LG, and Fossil.
Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear S2 might have arrived on the market at the wrong time since it has not achieved the strong sales it had anticipated. The watch launched in November and while well received, it’s sales are lack luster.
“Most other smartwatch sales are currently coming from cheaper, simpler devices from a range of smaller players, such as Martian, X and Razer, the latter with the recently-announced Nabu Watch,” added Juniper, detailing its findings. (For what it’s worth, the Nabu Watch is barely a smartwatch, even the company describes it as a digital watch with ‘smart’ features.)
Apple’s presence in the smartwatch market is also making it harder on its rivals to compete, as evidenced this week by Fitbit’s crashing stock.
The fitness tracker maker had unveiled its new smartwatch, the Fitbit Blaze at CES, and was immediately punished by Wall St. for daring to compete with Apple. Almost immediately, Fitbit’s stock dropped over 18 % indicating investors’ lack of confidence in the device manufacturer’s ability to take on Apple.
While Apple has the lead right now, the smartwatch/jewelry market is far from established. It is still in it’s infancy. The consumer is not sure they even want a smartwatch yet.
“The smartwatch is now a category waiting for a market,” wrote Juniper research analyst James Moar. “Newer devices have offered more polished looks and subtly different functions, but no large changes in device capabilities or usage. With smartwatch functions established, it is now up to consumers to decide if they want them, rather than technology companies providing more reasons.”
In other words, the future of the market is in the hands of consumers who may or may not feel the need for wrist worn technology to invade their lives.