Smartwatches may still not be a hugely popular market segment, but the competition is certainly heating up. Since the launch of the Apple Watch, Samsung has now slipped out of the top spot in the smartwatch market, and has seen its sales eclipsed by its US rival.
According to a market report from Korea, Samsung sold approximately 600,000 wearables device between July and September, which is not too bad. Apple is estimated to have sold an impressive 4.5 million units over the same period, leaving Samsung on just a 9.8 percent global share for Q3 2015 while Apple sales accounted for a huge 72.8 percent. This leaves other smartwatch manufacturers on just 17.4 percent of the market between them.
Of course, many had expected that Apple’s brand appeal would help its first wearable shoot out of the gates. The real test for the Apple Watch will be to see whether this type of sales momentum can be sustained, or if the company’s smartwatch will only have limited appeal to the early adopter crowd.
Samsung is facing an equally tall challenge of its own. The company’s Gear S2 smartwatch is scheduled for its global release over the next quarter, after already apparently getting off to a strong start in South Korea. We found the Gear S2 to be the company’s best smartwatch so far and it is priced far more competitively than Apple’s offering, so it will be very telling if Samsung can’t close the gap on Apple with its latest release.
Despite mixed consumer interest in the market, global smartwatch sales are estimated to have seen a six fold increase over the past twelve months. OEMs are surely keep to stake out a significant early share of this growing market, in case smartwatches finally hit mainstream demand.