Apple Watch Sales Tumble 70% As Global Smartwatch Market Majorly Contracts

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The worldwide smartwatch market significantly contracted in the third quarter, according to a new report from IDC. The industry shipped 2.7 million units last quarter, down 51.6% from 5.6 million in the same quarter last year. IDC attributed some of the decline to tough year-over-year comparisons, with Apple Inc.'s watch becoming widely available after a limited online launch in the third quarter of 2015 and the second-generation watch only available for sale during the remaining two weeks of this year's third quarter. However, IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani also said it has "become evident that at present smartwatches are not for everyone," with the industry struggling to define a clear purpose and use case for them. Apple's market share tumbled to 41% from 71% as sales fell nearly 72% year-over-year, the second-worst decline of any manufacturer, behind only Lenovo . Garmin Ltd. inched closer to Apple in terms of total share, posting the sharpest rise of any of the smartwatch manufacturers, with sales rocketing 324% and its share ballooning to 20.5%. Shares of Apple rose 0.5% to $117.20 in late-morning trade, while Garmin's increased 0.5% to $48.87. The S&P 500 was also up 0.5%.

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