As Christmas approaches, at least one online retailer is getting into the spirit by cutting prices on smart watches. Amazon is offering discounts on several smart watch models, knocking down prices on the Samsung Gear S2, the Apple Watch, and the Moto 360.
As of today, the online retailing giant is offering the dark gray and silver models of the Samsung Gear S2 for $247.91, down from their regular prices of $299. The price of the Classic edition of the S2 has been marked down to $299 from $349.
Also being offered at a discount is Motorola’s Moto 360 (pictured, left), whose Stone Grey Leather edition is available on Amazon for $164.85, 34 percent off Amazon’s regular price of $249.99. Amazon this week also knocked down prices of Apple Watches, offering discounts of between about $30 and $60 on various models, including the regular and Sport 38mm and 42mm editions that sport bands in a variety of colors. Amazon usually sells the Apple Watch for between $340 and $409.
The Apple Watch Sport isn’t the only activity-focused watch on sale at Amazon. The large, medium and small sizes of the Microsoft Band 2 fitness band have been marked down from $250 to $200.
Amazon is offering free shipping on all the smart watches being sold at discount prices. The site isn’t saying when the sale will end.
Growing Market Segment
What’s behind all the Amazon discounts? It might be part of an effort to continue a trend that many see going strong into the coming years. Sales of health and fitness-oriented smart watches are expected to hit $1.8 billion this year, up 18 percent compared to last year, according to research released this week by the Consumer Technology Association trade group. The association also found that 35 percent of American adults who say they’re likely to buy some sort of health and fitness technology in the coming year would choose smart watches.
Then there’s the reality that Samsung is trying to gain on its chief competitor in the smart watch space -- although it's unclear if Amazon collaborated with the smart watch makers on the discounts. A report issued last month by Strategy Analytics showed that Apple was outpacing Samsung handily in smart watch sales, selling 4.5 million wearables to Samsung’s 600,000. Samsung is aiming to bridge that gap with the recent worldwide release of the Gear S2, which might also partly explain the online price discounts.
Research firm IDC is forecasting that annual Apple Watch sales will increase from about 13 million units this year to 45.2 million units in 2019. That would mean annual sales growth of more than a third if the projection is accurate. IDC predicts that by that time, Apple will have a 51.1 percent market share in smart watches, with Android Wear next at 38.8 percent -- even as the growth of Android Wear sales outpaces that of Apple Watch.
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