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Smartwatches Overtake Swiss Watches in Q4 2015

by Neil Mawston | 2月 18, 2016

According to the latest research from our WDE (Wearables) service, global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in Q4 2015, compared with 7.9 million Swiss Watch shipments. It is the first time ever that smartwatches have outshipped Swiss watches on a global basis.

Clients can download the full report here.

We estimate global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in Q4 2015, rising a healthy 316 percent from 1.9 million in Q4 2014. Smartwatches are growing rapidly in North America, Western Europe and Asia. Apple Watch captured an impressive 63 percent share of the global smartwatch market in Q4 2015, followed by Samsung with 16 percent. Apple and Samsung together account for a commanding 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide.

We estimate global Swiss watch shipments reached 7.9 million units in Q4 2015, falling 5 percent from 8.3 million in Q4 2014.  Global demand for Swiss watches is slowing down, and major players like Swatch are struggling to find growth.

The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches. The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away. Swiss brands, like Tag Heuer, accounted for a tiny 1 percent of all smartwatches shipped globally during Q4 2015, and they are long way behind Apple, Samsung and other leaders in the high-growth smartwatch category.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartwatch vs. Swiss Watch Shipments in Q4 2015  [1]

Global Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '14

Q4 '15

Smartwatch

1.9

8.1

Swiss Watch

8.3

7.9

Total

1.9

8.1

Global Shipments Growth: Year-over-Year (%)

Q4 '14

Q4 '15

Smartwatch

~

315.6%

Swiss Watch

~

-4.8%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 



[1]  Numbers are rounded. A “Swiss watch” is an iconic product category and is defined as a wristwatch produced and shipped from Switzerland to worldwide markets. A “smartwatch” is an emerging product category and is defined as a computerized wristwatch with a high-level or expandable operating system produced and shipped from any country worldwide to worldwide markets.

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