If you ever needed any indication of just how much smartwatches are struggling, it has been revealed that major apps, from the likes of Google, Amazon and eBay, have quietly removed support from Apple Watch.
According to a report from Apple Insider, Google Maps removed support for Apple Watch in its latest iOS app update, however did not mention so in the release notes.
“We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release but expect to support it again in the future,” Google has since told CNET.
The removal of Google Maps has been joined by Amazon and eBay, which both ditched support for Apple Watch in their iOS apps in late April with their latest updates. US discount store retailer Target has also removed support for Apple Watch – though still offering Watch integration with its Cartwheel app.
Most, if not all, of these removals have gone widely unnoticed showing that the apps weren’t used regularly. This brings into question the true validity of certain smartwatch sale statistics because no official figures have ever been released.
Strategy Analytics estimated that the smartwatch market hit 8.2m units in Q4 2016 – with Apple contributing to 5.2m of those units. In addition, CCS insights forecasted that 42m smartwatches will be shipped in 2017, a number expected to hit 86m by 2021.
Of course, we don’t know how far off these figures are but it begs the question: are people buying smartwatches and not using them, or are they not buying them at all?