Skip to main content

People are not buying as many smartwatches, but the Apple Watch still reigns supreme

Apple Watch Sport
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Samsung might have beaten Apple to the smartwatch scene by two years with its Gear watch, but Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market. However, smartwatch sales recently slipped for the first time ever, according to the latest data from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

From March to June of 2016, Apple is estimated to have shipped 1.6 million smartwatches, which helped the company capture 47 percent of the market. However, compared to the 3.6 million and 72 percent market share Apple had at the same point in 2015, the company experienced a 55 percent year-over-year decline.

Compare that to Samsung, which shipped an estimated 600,000 Gear smartwatches during the second quarter, but saw 51 percent growth year-over-year, and increased its market share to 16 percent. In fact, every other company on the list, including Garmin, LG, and Lenovo, saw at least 25 percent market growth year-over-year. Apple is the only company named on the list to experience a decline in sales.

Keep in mind that Garmin, LG, and Lenovo combined to ship an estimated 700,000 units, with other companies shipping a combined 600,000 units. When you compare that with the nearly 2 million Apple sold, the company’s fortunes don’t look too shabby. Furthermore, Apple’s decline is relative to April 2015, when the company launched the first Apple Watch, so a drop-off at this point is expected. If Apple had launched a new watch in the spring, those numbers might have been different.

Regardless, the fact remains that not as many people are buying smartwatches as before, with a total of 3.5 million units estimated to have shipped during the second quarter. This is a 32 percent decrease year-over-year, as the second quarter of 2015 saw an estimated 5.1 million shipped.

Smartwatch shipments may be down, but the Apple Watch also leads the market when it comes to customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the Apple Watch is already a $10 billion business for Apple, and the device is twice as popular as the original iPhone. With the Apple Watch 2 rumored to be right around the corner, the Cupertino, California-based company looks to double down on its smartwatch success soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Williams Pelegrin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Williams is an avid New York Yankees fan, speaks Spanish, resides in Colorado, and has an affinity for Frosted Flakes. Send…
I replaced my Apple Watch with a Garmin — and I don’t want to go back
Apple Watch Series 7 next to the Garmin Forerunner 265.

The Apple Watch has been my go-to wearable for years. I began my journey with the Apple Watch Series 1 in 2017, upgraded to the Apple Watch Series 4 shortly after it launched, and then jumped to the Apple Watch Series 7 in 2021. It's long been my smartwatch platform of choice, and I've never had any desire to switch to something else.

At least, that's what I thought before I began using a Garmin smartwatch. I started testing the Garmin Forerunner 265 earlier this year, and I went into it with a pretty clear plan: I'd wear the watch for a couple of weeks, write my review, and move back to the Apple Watch. Fast forward to now, and my Garmin Forerunner 265 review has been published, no further testing is required, and nothing is stopping me from returning to my Apple Watch. But here's the thing — I don't want to. Garmin's watch is so good that I have no desire to put the Apple Watch back on my wrist, and there are a few big reasons why.
The surprising importance of buttons

Read more
5 things that could make watchOS 10 the perfect Apple Watch update
Apple Watch Series 8 showing its App Library.

With Apple’s 2023 Worldwide Developer Conference just weeks away, all signs point to it possibly being one of the biggest WWDCs yet. Though the main focus may be on Apple’s mixed reality headset, we’re still going to see software updates with iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS 14.

Over the weekend, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg stated that watchOS 10 may be a “fairly extensive upgrade,” with “notable changes” to the user interface. Although no details were provided, it teases an exciting future for the Apple Watch this year. And it also got me thinking about some changes that I would love to see in watchOS 10.
More watch faces with dark mode

Read more
Your Apple Watch may get a surprisingly big update this year
The World Time watch face showing on the Apple Watch SE 2.

WatchOS 10 is set to be announced during WWDC 2023, Apple's big summer showcase, and it looks like the Apple Watch update might be much bigger than expected.

For the past several years, watchOS updates have been relatively small in terms of new features and overhauls. However, a recent rumor suggests that Apple Watch owners should be in for something big when watchOS 10 goes live.

Read more