Market analyst IDC has found that there’s been more than a 50% decrease in shipments year-on-year, with 2.7 million units shipped in Quarter 3 2016.
IDC suggests that much of the decline can be attributed to the leading vendors’ realignment of products and platforms.
Garmin’s smartwatch sales have grown from 100,000 to 600,000 units, but the other four market leaders have shown declines.
IDC suggest that its increasing number of ConnectIQ-enabled watches and the launch of the £1100 Fenix Chronos had boosted its sales.
It’s now snapping at the heels of market leader Apple, with a 20% market share and over 300% year-on-year growth.
The Apple Watch shipped just over a million units in July-September 2016 compared to almost four million in the same period last year, although last year the quarter was the first in which it had widespread availability in shops.
Third, fourth and fifth and Samsung, Lenovo and Pebble respectively. Samsung has yet to introduce its latest Gear 3 to market and is relying on sales of its older Gear 2. Lenovo has suffered availability issues for its Moto 360m devices, while Pebble released its Pebble 2 device only late in Quarter 3 2016.
But there’s maybe a larger problem with smartwatches, with a two year study by the University of Pittsburgh, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that overweight volunteers given an activity tracker to track their exercise lost less weight than those trying to get fitter without.
Watch: Garmin Edge 20 and 25 review
Those who wore the fitness trackers lost an average of 3.6kg against 5.9kg for the control group who did not use the devices. As reported by the BBC, the lead researcher Dr John Jakicic said: “People have a tendency to use gadgets like these for a while and then lose interest with time as the novelty wears off. And we did see a drop off in the usage data as the study went on.”
There’s certainly something irritating about being told that it’s time to move when you’ve spent the last hour in a traffic jam on the M25.