Apple Still Leads Smartwatches Despite Slower Growth

Who’s the leader in the smartwatch sector? Apple. No doubt, Apple has reigned as king in the smartwatch race.

Kantar, a market research and analytics firm, said Apple has strongly kept its footing in the sector, despite the fact that growth has slowed. The data, Kantar said, is based on sales up to July 2016, which is still in advance of the September release of the Apple Watch Series 2.

Apple dominates the segment with more than a third of market share in the U.S., with European countries showing a similar following at 32 percent of the market.

That said, there have been some true efforts to usurp Apple from its smartwatch throne. Earlier this spring, Fitbit’s newest wearable, Fitbit Blaze, managed to outsell the Apple Watch on its way to capturing the top of the sales charts on Amazon during March, its first month of availability.

But there was the drop in price for Apple Watches, which left analysts puzzled. November before that, consumers purchasing phones in select Boston or San Francisco area stores could receive a $50 discount on an Apple Watch, which was surprising because Apple rather rarely discounts on, well, anything.

In Australia alone, the wearable device market is starting to grow — and quickly. According to market research firm Telsyte, Apple Watch has more than 50 percent of the smartwatch market share Down Under, with the Samsung Gear and Fitbit Blaze following behind.

Questions have arisen as to why the smartwatch trend has endured slow growth. Some analysts point to the exercise enthusiasts as the reason they stay popular.

The Apple Watch Series 2 includes enhancements, like better GPS and waterproofing. The latter being the most desired aspect.

Analysts are betting that, if the price of the Apple Watch drops, that may encourage more sales. But others say the longstanding non-digital watches still have conventional power.

As there is something to be said about grandpa’s old pocket watch.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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