Brands should be relieved to know that, because of their smaller screens and limited computing power, smartwatches aren’t likely to replace smartphones anytime soon.
During the third quarter, in fact, total smartwatch volume reached 2.7 million units shipped -- a decline of 51.6% year-over-year, according to the latest findings from IDC.
“It has also become evident that at present smartwatches are not for everyone," Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, concludes in a new report.
To be fair, the decline is partially due to the fact that the third quarter of 2015 was the first time Apple's Watch had widespread retail availability. Additionally, the second generation Apple Watch was only available in the last two weeks of the third quarter of this year.
“The sharp decline in smartwatch shipment volumes reflects the way platforms and vendors are realigning," Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team, notes in the report. "Apple revealed a new look and feel to watchOS that did not arrive until the launch of the second generation watch at the end of September.”
Meanwhile, “Google’s decision to hold back Android Wear 2.0 has repercussions for its OEM partners as to whether to launch devices before or after the holidays left vendors relying on older, aging devices to satisfy customers."
Apple maintained its position as the overall leader of the worldwide smartwatch market, although it posted the second largest year-over-year decline among the leading vendors.
The company’s first-generation Watches accounted for the majority of volume during the quarter, leading to the significant downturn for the quarter.
Its Series One and Series Two did little to stem that decline. Still, with lower price points and improved experiences, Apple could be heading for a sequential rebound in the fourth quarter of the year.