Smartwatches Overtake Swiss Watches; Apple Leads The Way

Another milestone has been reached in The Internet of Things, this one relating to smartwatches.

The number of smartwatches shipped has just passed the number of Swiss watch shipments worldwide.

Global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in the last quarter of 2015, compared to 7.9 million Swiss watch shipments, according to the latest tally from Strategy Analytics.

This is the first time ever that smartwatches have out-shipped Swiss watches on a global basis.

The growth of smartwatch shipments is an increase of 316% from the same quarter a year earlier.

There are other milestones associated with The Internet of Things.

For example, the majority of mobile phones in the U.S. are now smartphones, having passed the number of feature phones some time ago.

Meanwhile, there are other smart devices not yet positioned for their milestone. For example, connected TV usage will grow 17% this year, says eMarketer, but that’s a bit of a distance from the number of people watching all TV.

The obvious question is how many of the smartwatches shipped will ultimately be purchased by consumers. One of the stumbling blocks has been price, as I wrote about here recently (Apple Rules In Smartwatches; Consumers Await Wearables Pricing Below $99).

Topping the list of smart objects consumers desire are smart TVs, streaming media players and then a smartwatch, based on recent research.

But buying a smartwatch obviously provides a lot more functionality than time monitoring, with much action provided by extensive ecosystems. There already are more than 10,000 apps available for the Apple platform and 4,000 for Android Wear.

As expected, Apple leads the way, accounting for 63% of all smartwatches, followed by Samsung at 16%. Together, the two companies account for eight in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide.

Meanwhile, global demand for Swiss watches is slowing with major players like Swatch struggling to find growth, stated the report. Swiss brands like Tag Heuer account for only 1% of smartwatches shipped.

While the smartwatch milestone may seem relatively small, it’s just one in a long series coming.

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