Apple Watch shipments suffer sharp summer decline

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Apple has seen its share of the smartwatch market crumble.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch shipments declined a staggering 71.6 percent this summer, according to IDC, with Apple shifting just 1.1 million units during the third quarter. During the same period last year, the company sold an estimated 3.9 million units.

Apple likely will have expected Watch shipments to fall as 2016 went on. Its original model celebrated its first birthday back in April, and fans had to wait another five months for the new Series 1 and Series 2 models to arrive.

IDC predicts the new models could help Apple rebound during the fourth quarter, but with only two weeks of the third quarter remaining when they first went on sale, they didn’t get a chance to stem the decline.

The overall smartwatch market declined 51.6 percent during Q3. Only Garmin and Samsung saw growth (324.2 percent and 9 percent respectively). Alongside Apple, Lenovo and Pebble saw their smartwatch shipments decline 73.3 percent and 54.1 percent.

Apple still holds 41.3 percent of the smartwatch market, but that figure is down from 70.2 percent a year ago. Garmin now holds 20.5 percent, Samsung holds 14.4 percent, Lenovo holds 3.4 percent, and Pebble holds 3.2 percent.

Apple still doesn’t disclose official sales figures for Apple Watch, so estimates like these from IDC are all we have to determine the device’s success. It’s unlikely Apple will be too concerned with the decline last quarter, but it might begin to worry if things don’t pick up in Q4.