A new report by Strategy Analytics reveals that smartwatches have outsold Swiss watches in the fourth quarter of 2015, with the Apple Watch leading the charge in the increasing momentum for the smartwatch industry.
The trend, on the other hand, shows how much the growth of smartwatches have deepened the troubles of the struggling Swiss watch industry.
The report states that global shipments for smartwatches in the fourth quarter of 2015 reached 8.1 million units, compared to only 7.9 million units for Swiss watches. In comparison, for the fourth quarter of 2014, global shipments of smartwatches reached only 1.9 million units while that of Swiss watches was at 8.3 million units.
The figures translate to year-over-year growth for global smartwatch shipments of a massive 315.6 percent, while Swiss watch shipments saw a decline of 4.8 percent.
According to Strategy Analytics, this is the first time that smartwatches have outsold Swiss watches in a quarter globally, as the industry saw significant growth across North America, Western Europe and Asia.
The Apple Watch notably grabbed a 63 percent global smartwatch market share in the quarter, with Samsung coming in at a far second with 16 percent. Combined, it meant that eight out of every 10 smartwatches sold in the fourth quarter of 2015 were either the Apple Watch or a Samsung smartwatch.
On the other hand, the struggles of the Swiss watch industry can be explained by the immense growth of the smartwatch industry being coupled with the slowness of Swiss watchmakers in reacting to the popularity of the smart wearable devices. While there have been some Swiss watch brands that have tried to enter the smartwatch market themselves, they are far behind in the market compared to major players such as Apple and Samsung.
One such company is Tag Heuer, which unveiled the $1,500 Connected Watch in November 2015. The smartwatch is powered by the Google's Android Wear operating system and is modeled after the classic mechanical Carrera of the brand. However, the company only made up about 1 percent of the global market for the fourth quarter of 2015.
Apple recently dropped the Apple Watch's price by $100, which signals that the company is gearing up to release the next version of the smartwatch. This would be bad news for Swiss watchmakers, as the continued development and popularity of the Apple Watch as well as the smartwatch industry in general, could lead consumers further away.