Wearables Week in Review

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Week In Review

Apple watchOS 9: RIP Series 3?

Apple watchOS 9 has been released, alongside iOS 16. The new OS brings key upgrades to the fitness features, including heart rate zones for sleep and workouts, as well as a way to monitor you best performances. From a health perspective, the new OS sends alerts when it is time to take your meds, as well as tracking of atrial fibrillation events. A revamped calendar app, more watch screens and quick action gestures are also just a part of the upgrade. There’s just one catch… the upgrade is not available to Watches prior to the Series 4. With an estimated 15% of Apple Watch owners still hanging on to a Series 3 device, it is time for these customers to make a decision: upgrade device and get the new features or hold on to an end-of-life device for a little bit longer.

The NPD Take:

  • We have seen the migration already start to take hold: in the past six months, the Series 3 share of Apple Watch ownership has decreased from almost 20 percent down to just over 15 percent, with the Series 7 being the big winner (up from 16 percent to 25 percent share of the Apple Watch pool).
  • This somewhat forced migration will certainly help boost interest in the new Watch Series 8, as well as the more rugged Ultra version

Samsung Galaxy options

Samsung launched the new Galaxy 5 last month, which means that it’s time for the previous version to see a drop in price. And that’s exactly what we are seeing, with the Galaxy 4 currently on sale at $130, down $100 compared to the retail price.

The NPD Take:

  • The lower end of the income market has a broader variation of smartwatches purchased, from different brands. Offering a lower entry point allows Samsung to gain a larger portion of this low-end market, which also drives more likelihood that these customers will also purchase a Samsung smartphone when it comes time to replace their current device.
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