The smartwatch market slumped for the first time ever in the second quarter of this year, according to IDC, which said the decline was down to stalling Apple sales in anticipation of future releases.
In Q2, smartwatch vendors shipped 3.5 million units, down "substantially" from the 5.1 million shipped a year ago, the analyst said.
A slump in Apple shipments drove the overall decline. The vendor saw shipments fall 55 per cent annually to 1.6 million units, while all the other top-five vendors – Samsung, Lenovo, LG and Garmin – saw their shipments climb in the double digits annually.
"Apple still maintains a significant lead in the market and unfortunately a decline for Apple leads to a decline in the entire market," said IDC's senior research analyst Jitesh Urbani.
But IDC stressed that Apple's number for Q2 does not tell the whole story.
"In fairness to Apple, the year-over-year comparison is to the initial launch quarter of the Apple Watch, which is in many ways the same product offered in the most recent quarter with price reductions," the analyst said.
Urbani added: "Consumers have held off on smartwatch purchases since early 2016 in anticipation of a hardware refresh, and improvements in WatchOS are not expected until later this year, effectively stalling existing Apple Watch sales."
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