Apple Watch helps smartwatches overtake Swiss watch shipments


Apple Watch’s popularity has helped smartwatches overtake Swiss watch sales for the first time, according to a new report. During the fourth quarter of 2015, smartwatch shipments reached a whopping 8.1 million units — up from just 1.9 million a year before.

That’s a 315.6 percent jump in a year, and Strategy Analytics says that Apple’s smartwatch alone accounted for an impressive 63 percent of those shipments — following by Samsung with just 16 percent. Together, the two companies shipped 8 out of 10 smartwatches worldwide.

In comparison, Swiss watchmakers shipped 7.9 million units last quarter, which is a decrease of 4.8 percent from the 8.3 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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

Some Swiss companies have begun launching smart wearables, but they’re yet to make much of a dent. TAG Heuer, which launched the Connected smartwatch powered by Android Wear last year, only accounted for 1 percent of shipments in Q4 2015.

Jony Ive warned that Swiss watchmakers would be negatively impacted by Apple Watch, and while many were skeptical of that, it looks like that prediction is already turning out to be an accurate one.

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