Handheld Technology

Smartwatches are killing Switzerland

New data from Strategy Analytics suggests that smartwatches are now outselling Swiss wristwatches. In total, 8.1 million smartwatches were sold in the last three months of 2016 compared to 7.9 million Swiss watches. Worse news for Switzerland: sales were sharply down on the year-ago period while smartwatch sales were up over 300%.

You only need the evidence provided by your eyes to know that smartwatches are in the wild. The Apple Watch has already become ubiquitous and accounts for 63% of the smartwatch segment – compelling evidence that Cupertino has another big hit, despite all the naysayers.

The Swiss reaction has been characteristically neutral and there is now strong evidence to suggest that the classic wristwatch will be relegated to a fashion item analogous to the pocket handkerchief or bow-tie. A hundred years ago men wore their watches on chains in waistcoat pockets but the wristwatch made telling the time more convenient. Today, the smartwatch makes accessing personal information easy and, as usefulness and appearance improve, there might soon only be a niche market for the major wristwatch brands.


Related reading:

IDG Connect special report on the future of the watch

Apple Watch is primed for success

Apple watchers look for cracks in a modern masterpiece

Rant: Apple’s $5,000 watch and our throwaway times

Five things to say about the Apple Watch

Apple Watch: One developer’s experience

TAG Heuer’s move into tech is no revolution


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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