KGI Securities expects Apple Watch shipments will fall by more than 25 percent this year, according to a research note reported on by 9to5Mac.
The firm predicted Apple would ship roughly 7.5 million smartwatches this year, down substantially from 2015 estimates of 10.6 million sold. KGI cited a market for smart watches that has yet to get any real legs, but also said factors such as limited battery life and a lack of compelling applications are limiting sales.
Like other analysts, KGI believes Apple will introduce a new version of its watch in the third quarter when it is also expected to launch a new flagship iPhone. And, like others, KGI reportedly said the new model will be an incremental upgrade rather than an overhaul and redesign.
Analysts' opinions on the success of the Apple Watch are wide-ranging, but the device is clearly failing to gain much traction aside from early adopters and hardcore Apple fans – and many of them don't seem to love it. The advertising technology company Fluent said yesterday that only 47 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,500 American adults agreed that "the Apple Watch is a successful product," the company said, and only 62 percent of regular users of Apple products deemed the wearable successful.
And while Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market, the overall segment still appears to be very small compared to other consumer-electronics segments. Juniper Research observed in January that Apple claimed 52 percent of smartwatch sales in 2015, but the space remains "a category waiting for a market."
Apple remains tight-lipped about sales figures for its watch, and a recent price cut certainly doesn't signal that the device is flying off the shelves. If Apple and the iOS developer community can come up with some compelling new apps and services for the upcoming Apple Watch, the entire market would almost surely benefit even as Apple's dominance grows. If not, the industry will likely continue to languish.
- see this 9to5Mac report
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