The Apple Watch is flopping big time, according to the latest report from market research and analysis firm IDC.
The firm’s latest findings indicate Apple Watch sales were down 55 percent in Q2 of this year compared to the same period last year, when the smartwatch launched.
Meanwhile, smartwatch sales from competing companies like Samsung and Lenovo grew by 51 percent and 75 percent, respectively, during the same Q2 2015 to Q2 2016 year period.
Though the report paints a dire picture for the Apple Watch, Apple still owns the lion’s share of the smartwatch market, with 47 percent. Samsung is in second place with 16 percent and Lenovo in third place with 9 percent market share.
The steep sales drop suggests the Apple Watch has not become the must-have product Apple made it out to be.
The hardware itself is beautiful, but anyone who’s used one (I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch for a year now) will tell you it’s expensive and slow. Really damn slow.
In March, Apple took the first step toward making the Apple Watch more popular by dropping the starting price of the 38mm model from $349 to $299.
This fall, Apple will address the second frustration with watchOS 3, a new version of the Apple Watch’s software. WatchOS 3 rethinks most of the device’s shortcomings. It dramatically speeds up apps with a new quick-launch dock, adds Control Center for toggling settings just like on the iPhone and features smart replies. New features also include Scribble, which lets you write out words, and better watch faces that show more useful data from apps.
We’re still in the very early days of the Apple Watch and the smartwatch market as a whole.
A second-generation Apple Watch would also help boost sales. The Apple Watch 2 is rumored to be launching this fall with a faster processor and, possibly, built-in cellular capabilities to make it a more capable standalone device that’s less reliant on an iPhone connection.
IDC expects the market to “return to growth in 2017”. “Continued platform development, cellular connectivity, and an increasing number of applications all point to a smartwatch market that will be constantly changing,” wrote Ramon T. Llamas, IDC’s wearables team research manager. “These will appeal to a broader market, ultimately leading to a growing market.”