Smartwatches (or rather wearable devices in general) were once hailed as the tech industry’s next big thing, but now, we’re starting to worry they might kick the bucket before ever truly taking off.

Sure, Google and its hardware-producing partners swear they remain committed to the fragile market niche. Then again, both Android Wear 2.0 and a second (third?) wave of compatible wrist-worn gadgets from a number of top-tier OEMs are delayed for 2017.

Meanwhile, Apple can probably target a larger and larger slice of a pie that keeps on shrinking when it should really be growing. In addition to the inherent dangers of a premature monopoly over an immature global business, we have to fear an actual yearly drop in “iWatch” shipments, according to the most knowledgeable of Cupertino-specialized financial analysts, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo was never very optimistic about 2016 sales figures, further slashing them to between 8.5 and 9 million units from a previous forecast of 10 – 10.5M, as Apple Watch Series 1 discounts and Series 2 upgrades don’t look compelling enough to overturn the original model’s recent slump.

With official Apple Watch numbers always under wraps, third-party research companies provide our best guesses as to the wearable’s box-office performance. Q1 and Q2 tallies this year have circled 1.5 mil each, the latter considerably down from the April – June 2015 count. Despite getting a three-month head start in 2016, the Apple Watch family is tipped to fall short of the OG’s 10.4M total last year. That’s pretty bad!

Source: Business Insider

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