Smartwatches may not be as ubiquitous as their old-fashioned mechanical and digital counterparts yet. But according to Strategy Analytics, smartwatches outshipped Swiss-made watches for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Of course, the distinction might become moot soon, now that Swiss watch makers are starting to produce smart wearables.
I think the more interesting figure is that smartwatch shipments were up more than 300 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The report estimates that 8.1 million smartwatches were shipped during the last three months of 2015, compared with 1.9 million in the last three months of 2014.
By comparison, Swiss watch shipments for those periods went from 8.3 million in 2014 to 7.9 million in 2015.
Strategy Analytics also says that the Apple Watch had a 63 percent market share during the quarter, with Samsung taking another 16 percent. In other words, pretty much every other smartwatch maker had to split the remaining 21 percent.
Of course, it’s not like the only choices are smartwatches or Swiss watches. And shipments aren’t the same as sales to customers. So it might take a few more quarters (or years) before we really find out if smartwatches are here to stay. But it seems like they’re on an upward trend at the moment… at least with device makers and retailers.