Did smart watches really overtake Swiss watches in 2015?


New estimates suggest that shipments of smart watches overtook those of traditional Swiss watches in the final quarter of 2015.

Research from Boston-based Strategy Analytics estimates that 8.1m smart watches shipped in Q4 2015 compared to 7.9m Swiss watches.

Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “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.”

The figures in Strategy Analytics report point to surging interest in smart watches, with growth of 315.6% based on the 1.9m units the report as shipping in the same quarter 12 months earlier.

Steven Waltzer, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “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.”

Author of the report Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, warned that the Swiss watch industry had been slow to respond to the threat from products released by tech giants like Apple.

“The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away,” he said. “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.”



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