So it begins: “worldwide smartwatch shipments” have hit 8.1 million units in Q4 2015 compared to 7.9 million for Swiss watch shipments. Strategy Analytics, a research firm, has found that smartwatch shipments “rose a healthy 316 percent from 1.9 million in Q4 2014.”
Apple has an estimated 63 percent of the global market followed by Samsung’s 16 percent.
“Apple and Samsung together account for a commanding 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide,” said Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics.
Strategy Analytics isn’t pulling any punches with the Swiss watch industry saying they “have been sticking their head in the sand.”
“The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches. 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,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.
These are obviously estimates based on Strategy Analytics own research but even if the smartwatch and Swiss watch industries are reaching parity, things aren’t looking up for the time-honored tickers. In fact when a dedicated watch nut like Jack Forster writes he is using the Apple Watch more and more it might be time for the Swiss to rethink their marketing strategies to capture the casual watch buyer once again – before Apple and Samsung do.