Merchant Innovation

Apple Watch Dominates Global Smartwatch Market

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A new study shows 2015 was a really good year for the Apple Watch.

The new data, released by Juniper Research on Tuesday (Jan. 12), reveals that Apple’s Apple Watch claimed 52 percent of the global shipments of smartwatches in 2015, even though the gadget didn’t launch until April of last year.

Apple Watch rivals didn’t hold a candle to the popularity of the device, with Juniper Research’s study showing Android Wear shipments comprised less than 10 percent of smartwatch sales in 2015. The research report said that despite being well-received upon its launch in November, Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear S2 has also achieved weak sales.

“The smartwatch is now a category waiting for a market,” research author James Moar said in a press release. “Newer devices have offered more polished looks and subtly different functions but no large changes in device capabilities or usage. With smartwatch functions established, it is now up to consumers to decide if they want them, rather than technology companies providing more reasons.”

Juniper’s “Smartwatches: Trends, Vendor Strategies & Forecasts 2016-2020” report found that the smartwatch market has been driven by devices that offer a lower price point and more basic functionality, such as the Martian Guess Connected and Breitling B55 Connected. Most of the sales within the smartwatch market come from these simpler and cheaper devices.

Finance deals with retailers, the study said, will play a key role in making higher-end smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, more attainable for general consumers.

The Apple Watch itself has seen continued price cuts, especially during the recent holiday season. Best Buy took $100 off the price of every Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport in its online shop in December and sported a similar discount during Black Friday.

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