Monday, 19 May 2014

Why smart watch market share estimates remain meaningless hokum

According to market intelligence outfit Strategy Analytics, the smart watch market is exploding.

It reckons global shipments were up 250 percent year-on-year in Q1 2014 to over 700,000 units.

The key driver of this growth was Samsung, which shipped 500,000 units, taking an estimated 71 percent market share.

What tosh...

Whether the numbers are correct or not - and the fact these are units shipped not sold is a clue - it's pretty clear Samsung is not going to be the market leader on this sort of scale.

After all, back in 2013, rival market intelligence outfit Canalyst estimated that Samsung had a 54 percent market share but that was when it had shipped lots of Galaxy Gear smartphones, many of which were subsequently returned to retailers because it was a rubbish product.

But did Canalyst track those returns? Did it heck.

Of course, the more vital issue with Samsung smart watches is they only work with Samsung phones. Sure, that's a big market but it also demonstrates that Samsung doesn't get the potential of smart watches in the way that Pebble (which supports iOS and Android phone) does - and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Pebbler.

But, perhaps even more importantly, the smart watch market is so nascent at the moment that until we've had a couple of quarters of Android Wear hardware shipping (and more importantly being sold and worn by real people), there's little point even discussing market share percentages.

Still, if you have $6,999 burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to buy Strategy Analytics' no doubt awesome 6-page report

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