US watch sales fell 14% in June 2015, compared to the same month last year, and some analysts think the Apple Watch is to blame. The decrease in sales is the largest drop for seven years, according to data from NPD Group.
Conventional watch sales brought in $375 million in June, which is 11% less in revenue than the year before. The head of the market research company's luxury division, Fred Levin, says this is down to the release of certain smartwatches.
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"The Apple Watch is going to gain a significant amount of penetration. The first couple of years will be difficult for watches in fashion categories," he said in a phone interview to Bloomberg.
The market for sub-$1,000 watches is most at risk, Levin predicted, and people looking to buy in that price range were more inclined to get an Apple Watch. Specifically, sales of watches priced between $100 and $149.99 dropped 24% year-on-year in June. That's half the price of an Apple Watch, which has sold an estimated 3 - 5 million units so far, but the tech savvy will know there's bargains to be had on Android Wear and plenty more smartwatch launches coming up.
Swatch will soon be bringing out its smartwatches, one with smartphone notifications, and another with NFC payments.
It's a changing market, though, and devices like the Withings Activité and Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart show that the two technologies can work together. It'll be up to traditional watch manufacturers to adapt and work with tech companies like Apple and MotionX.
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