In a new IDC report on smartwatches for Q2 2016, Apple remains number one with Apple Watch holding a commanding 47% market share. Samsung was a cold distant second with only 16%. Lenovo and LG battled it out for third spot with only 8% of the market.
said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers stated in the report that "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. Still Apple maintains a significant lead in the market and unfortunately a decline for Apple leads to a decline in the entire market. Every vendor faces similar challenges related to fashion and functionality, and though we expect improvements next year, growth in the remainder of 2016 will likely be muted."
Perhaps one of the biggest omissions in the smartwatch market is the absence of traditional watchmaker brands among the leading vendors. "To date, only a small handful of traditional watchmaker brands have entered the smartwatch market, trailing far behind their technology brand counterparts," said Ramon T. Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. "This seems to be changing, albeit slowly, as key vendors like Casio, Fossil, and Tag Heuer have launched their own models to the market. Still, participation from traditional watchmaker brands is imperative to deliver some of the most important qualities of a smartwatch sought after by end-users, namely design, fit, and functionality. Combine these with the brand recognition and distribution these brands already have, and it's reasonable to expect the smartwatch market to grow from here.
To date Jean-Claude Biver, head of watch brands (Tag Heuer, Zenith, and Hublot) at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA was the first to state that he was unimpressed with the design of the Apple Watch. In an interview with Germany's Die Welt in 2014, Biver said the wearable device is too feminine and suggested it will not stand the test of time."
And yet despite Jean-Claude Biver's Tag Heuer entering the smartwatch market last year, they didn't even register in the top 5 smartwatch vendors in Q2. Jean-Claude Biver's bravado isn't backed up by sales of any significance.
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