Smartwatch shipments take a nose dive in Q3, says IDC

Smartwatch shipments fell 52 percent in the third to 2.7 million units with Apple posting the second-largest decline behind Lenovo.

Smartwatch shipments fell 52 percent in the third quarter to 2.7 million units with Apple posting the second-largest decline behind Lenovo, according to IDC data. The research firm did note that Apple still leads the category with 1.1 million shipments.

IDC also points out that Apple Watch sales in the third quarter of 2015 were offset by its initial widespread availability after a limited online launch, which likely boosted its sales. What's more, Apple's second generation Apple Watch was only made available during the last two weeks of September.

Garmin took the biggest bite out of Apple's market share and posted the largest year-over-year increase in shipments. Garmin's success is due to its ConnectIQ-enabled smartwatches, and the addition of the fenix Chronos, IDC said.

Another major factor in the decline in smartwatch shipments is Google's decision to hold back Android Wear 2.0, said IDC wearables research manager Ramon Llamas. "Collectively, this left vendors relying on older, aging devices to satisfy customers," he said.

Lenovo's woes are linked to out-of-stock issues and no new product introductions in time for the holiday season. Samsung has remained relatively steady despite that fact that its newest watch, the Gear S3, is still not generally available.

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It's worth noting that IDC's data only includes smartwatches capable of running third-party applications on the device. Devices such as the Fitbit Blaze and Withings Activite are classified as basic wearables.

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