This bit of wearable news is becoming the norm.
Another smartwatch market share report. Another win for Apple in terms of market share.
In this case a new report by Counterpoint Research reveals that in 2020 the overall smartwatch market grew only 1.5% (with a slight dip in Q4 due to Covid). Yet, the Apple Smartwatch outpaced the industry with a y/y growth of 6%.
That’s an impressive result given that the Apple Watch has been consistently outpacing its competition such as Google (Fitbit and Wear OS), Samsung (Tizen), and others including lesser known, inexpensive Chinese made brands (Amazfit, Xiaomi).
In terms of actual shipments here’s how the numbers break down among the top players:
Q4 2020 SHIPMENTS (MILLIONS) / GROWTH (Y/Y):
- Apple 33.9 / 19%
- Huawei 11.1 / 26%
- Samsung 9.1 / -1%
- BBK 6.6 / -9%
- Fitbit 5.9 / -4%
As you can see Apple easily outpaces the competition, even shipping more than 3x units than its closest competitor (Huawei) per the report.
In addition, Samsung, BBK and Fitbit all saw decreases in market share.
So it would appear Apple continues to consolidate a larger base in the smartwatch market.
Interestingly, Counterpoint notes that there’s been a dynamic that indicates a shift to more expensive watches. For example, the $101-$200 market shrank 7%, while the $300-plus smartwatch segment actually grew $300. Perhaps that suggests buyers are willing to spend more for a premium experience — especially one that offers fitness tracking, an important feature for many now that gyms have been completely or at least partially closed during the pandemic.
Per Analyst Sujeong Lim:
“The smartwatch market is being driven by three premium brands – Apple, Samsung and Huawei. We believe the ASPs will continue to rise over the next two to three years as these companies’ flagship models continue to lead. On the other hand, Apple’s success with its Watch SE model will likely spur others like Samsung to release similar variants, moving closer to the mass market. Over a three to four years timeframe, we see budget players like OPPO and realme gaining a significant share, intensifying overall competition and bringing down the prices.”
Stark Insider Take
It will be interesting to see if Google ever makes a big push again into the smartwatch space; possibly with a re-launch of Wear OS or a completely re-branding (I’d go with the latter).
Wear OS was once a shining diamond back in 2014 with plenty of promise. However, the Google team muffed up the user experience. Wear OS watches became tech party tricks, rather than practical every day devices that could help us get things done. In that case, Apple succeeded by leaps and bounds.
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In the mid ought’s seeing people with a smartwatch around their wrists was a novelty. Now it’s a common sight. That’s largely because of Apple and its laser focus on teaching us all how such a device could not only be fun, but, more importantly, be something that we’d eventually want to wear everyday because of its overwhelming utility.
I think these types of market share reports affirm what we’ve been seeing for the last 2-3 years: the Apple Watch is a major hit, and no one else has come close to replicating its success.