Is the Swiss wristwatch industry in an official flunk? According to figures released last week by market researcher Strategy Analytics, and quoted by CNET, global shipments of smartwatches outdid those of Swiss watches in the fourth quarter of 2015. This is the first time that’s happened and most of the credit, according to the piece, goes to Apple, which has dominated smartwatch sales since its release last April.
According to market researcher Gartner, sales of Smartwatches is forecast to total 50.4 million units in 2016 – up from 30 million in 2015 – and 66.7 million in 2017.
Swiss watch shipments have declined 5% in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter in 2014. Meanwhile, smartwatch shipments rose 316% over the same period. According to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, the Swiss slump is due to the slow reaction by the Swiss watch industry to the development of smartwatches, and its reluctance to integrate advanced technology in its classic designs.