Global shipments of smartwatches fall 51.6% – bad news for Samsung?

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2016-10-25 14:20 Updated : 2016-10-25 14:20
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[Courtesy of Samsung]

Global smartwatch shipments have fallen 51.6 percent from a year earlier, according to market research firm IDC. This could be a bad news for Samsung as it is preparing for the global launch of its new smartwatch "Gear S3" series in November.

The global smartwatch market is currently led by Apple, which took up 41.3 percent. Samsung has a 14.4 percent market share.

Some experts said Apple suffered a sharp drop in shipments as consumers wait for its upcoming models. "It has also become evident that at present smartwatches are not for everyone," Jitesh Ubrani, an IDC analyst, said in a press release.

"Having a clear purpose and use case is paramount, hence many vendors are focusing on fitness due to its simplicity. However, moving forward, differentiating the experience of a smartwatch from the smartphone will be key and we're starting to see early signs of this as cellular integration is rising and as the commercial audience begins to pilot these devices," Ubrani said.

It is unsure if Samsung's upcoming smartwatches would survive in the harsh smartwatch market. Samsung tried to differentiate its watches by releasing two models – Classic and Frontier, featuring the same specs -- GPS, rotating bezels, a 1.3-inch AOMLED screen and an upgraded 380mAH battery, but they are different in design.

While the Classic model has a sleek, minimalized design, ideal for urban uses, Frontier features a more rugged design, similar to traditional outdoor watches, ideal for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

Following a smartphone debacle, the South Korean tech giant aims to regain its reputation as the world's best smart device maker. However, results will be shown when Samsung starts receiving pre-orders for the upcoming smartwatches in Canada earlier this month.

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