Swiss watchmakers are getting destroyed by Apple and Samsung

Smartwatches are growing fast, and last quarter, the budding product category shipped more devices than Swiss watches for the first time ever.

According to new data from Strategy Analytics, charted for us by Statista, the global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, up more than four times what it shipped in the previous year. In the same period, Swiss watches shipped 7.9 million units, down 5% from last year.

Apple and Samsung led the growth, with each accounting for 63% and 16% of the overall smartwatch market, respectively.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said part of this had to do with the Swiss watchmakers’ slow response to the development of smartwatches.

“The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away,” he wrote. “Swiss brands, like Tag Heuer, accounted for a tiny 1 per cent of all smartwatches shipped globally during Q4 2015, and they are long way behind Apple, Samsung and other leaders in the high-growth smartwatch category.

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