Apple’s Apple Watch smartwatch was the most popular wearable by a large margin in the second quarter. But over the summer, its market share significantly declined. The reason? Rumors of an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE caught the attention of many consumers that they opted to wait for the new iteration. 

According to data shared by research firm IDC, Apple’s shipments of its smartwatch only totaled an estimated 2.7 million units during the July-September period. The figure is significantly lower than the 3.4 million units shipped during last year’s third quarter. The decline is now believed to be caused by the persistent rumors about the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE in the previous quarter.

MacRumors says that while the Apple Watch shipments may have been affected by seasonality, the speculations of an LTE-ready upgrade could have also contributed to the decrease in the smartwatches’ market share. Summer is considered to be typically a period of slower sales for Apple. But it’s also undeniable that consumers waited for the new iteration that was, at the time, just rumored to have cellular capabilities. 

Despite the decline, Apple still reigns supreme in this department. The Apple Watch still finished first place when it comes to smartwatch market share. IDC’s data revealed that four out of every 10 smartwatches shipped during the third quarter were, after all, Apple Watches. Samsung came in second with an estimated 700,000 shipments, while Garmin landed third place with 600,000 shipments. 

Tied on fourth place are Fossil and Continental Wireless, a company specializing in kids smartwatches in China. The two companies managed to ship 500,000 units in the third quarter. As for other smartwatch makers, the combined number of units they shipped was 1.7 million. 

The news about the decline in the Apple Watch’s market share comes the same day when the Cupertino giant launched a new app that’s designed to gather irregular heart rhythm data. The app, which is called Apple Heart Study app, is part of the Heart Study initiative that Apple first mentioned in September when it introduced watchOS 4. 

The Apple Heart Study app is capable of detecting irregularities in heart rhythm and sending notifications to users who may be suffering from atrial fibrillation. Apple wants to collect the heart rate data of users to help the medical field in better informing people who have heart diseases and providing assistance to doctors and researchers of heart irregularity cases, according to The Verge

“Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science,” Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams said in a statement. Users who will participate in Apple’s Heart Study will be given a free consultation with a study doctor in case their Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor notices irregularities in their heartbeat. 

The Apple Heart Study app is already available for download in the U.S. App Store. Only Apple Watch owners who are 22 years and older are allowed to participate in the study, which is made possible by Apple’s partnership with Stanford University. 

Apple Watch Apple Watch Series 3 may have caused the previous lineup’s sales to decline over the summer. Photo: Reuters/Issei Kato