For the first, shipments of smartwatches outpaced luxury watches according to new industry research.
The venerable wristwatch industry in Switzerland might have a big smartwatch problem on its hands.
Global smartwatch shipments outpaced their Swiss luxury counterparts during the 2015 fourth quarter, showed data released by Strategy Analytics.
This is the first time the wearable tech watches overtook their luxury counterparts. A great of the credit must go to Apple, which Strategy Analytics said dominated sales of smartwatches since last April upon its release.
While the smartwatch popularity has grown in a dramatic fashion, consumer interest in luxury Swiss watches has dropped.
That is largely from the reluctance on the Swiss firms’ part to embrace emerging wearable items that in addition to giving the wearer the time of day, lets the wearer make calls, read email and check their blood pressure while looking at their stock portfolio.
Watch shipments from Swiss companies declined by 5% during the fourth quarter in comparison to the same time in 2014, while shipments of smartwatches increased by 316% over that time.
An analyst with Strategy Analytics said the watch industry in Switzerland was slow to react to the smartwatch development and it has stuck its head in the sand with the hope that smartwatches will leave.
The current Swiss watch predicament appears to have fulfilled a forecast that was made reportedly by Jony Ive the chief designer of Apple in 2014. A source that was unnamed told a New York daily that Ive predicted the luxury watch market would be in trouble after the debut of the Apple Watch that was at the time still unannounced.
Tag Heuer is one watchmaker attempting to buck this trend. In November, the watchmaker of luxury watches released the Connected Watch, which has the Android Wear OS by Google.
However, the company, which is 155 years old still only accounted for 1% of the overall global market of smartwatches during the fourth quarter, which was light years away from the 63% by Apple and the 16% by Samsung.