Whatever side of the fence you stand on when it comes to smartwatches, it’s clear that the wearables are here to stay. It’s also known that Apple is pretty much the dominant force in the space, and now it looks as if the Apple Watch is having an impact on traditional luxury watches too.
This is according to a new report compiled by Strategy Analytics which looked at the sales of Apple Watches in 2019 compared to those of Swiss matchmakers, including the likes of Swatch, Tag Heuer and Tissot.
To that end Apple shipped an estimated 31 million of its smartwatches in 2019, which represents an increase of 36 percent. The Swiss watch market shipped roughly 21.1 million units in the same period, which is a 13 percent decline.
According to the research firm, much of Apple’s success has very little to do with the technology its smartwatches sport. In fact it is the nature of the retail channels that the company has set up for its wearables, which is seen a key contributor here.
“Traditional Swiss watch makers, like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars. Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wristwear. The window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing. Time may be running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer, and others,” notes Steven Waltzer, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.
Whether Swiss watchmakers will react with different strategies to this change in the market remains to be seen. In recent years the likes of Tag Heuer has entered the smartwatch space with its own offerings, but they are yet to have the same sort of pull that Apple’s does.
Either way it looks like Apple’s dominance when it comes to smartwatches is here to stay.