Apple Watch is kicking the rear end of Swiss watchmakers

Apple Watch is kicking the rear end of Swiss watchmakers

It sure didn't take long: the Swiss watchmaking industry is reeling from Apple's big push.

A total of 8.1 million smartwatch units have shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015, beating out Swiss watch shipments at 7.9 million for the first time ever.

The times are a-changin’, and no one is feeling that more than the Swiss watch industry, which has watched as smartwatch shipments jumped 316 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014, when only 1.9 million smartwatchers were shipped, according to a TechCrunch report.

Apple is far and away the leader of this trend, making up 63 percent of the global market. Samsung is second with 16 percent.

The Swiss watch industry hasn’t helped itself, doing almost nothing to innovate or position itself in a way so that it doesn’t lose a lot of market share from the growing smartwath trend, said research firm Strategic Analytics as quoted in the report.

While Swiss brand Tag Heuer has attempted to adapt by putting out its own smartwatch, it makes up just 1 percent of smartwatches shipped during the most recent quarter, nowhere close to the big dogs of smartwatches.

The Apple Watch was first announced by CEO Tim Cook back on Sept. 9, 2014. It was available for pre-order last April and started shipping by the end of the month. It quickly become the best-selling wearable device.

The Watch relies on wireless connectivity to the iPhone to do things like calling and texting. The Watch retails for between $549 and $1,100. The Apple Watch Edition can run up to $17,000.

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