Apple Watch domination of smartwatch market continues

Apple Watch domination of the smartwatch market sees no sign of ending, despite the growing popularity of much cheaper devices.

A new report today says that much of the 24% growth in the market during 2021 was driven by demand for sub-$100 models, but that Apple continued to outsell its nearest competitor by a factor of three to one …

Counterpoint Research said that Apple’s market share did slip a little, from 32.9% in 2020 to 30.1% in 2021, but it still sold almost three times as many watches as second-placed Samsung.

The global smartwatch market shipments hardly grew in 2020 due to COVID-19, but they recorded a healthy 24% YoY growth in 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s recently published Global Smartwatch Model Tracker. The fourth quarter alone saw shipments of more than 40 million units, the highest quarterly shipments ever […]

[The growth was] thanks to strong demand for sub-$100 smartwatches […] although Apple remained the undisputed leader.

Apple’s high average selling price also meant that the company took home around half of the revenue in the global smartwatch market.

Counterpoint also gave a run-down of the performance of competing brands.

  • Samsung was one of the most successful smartwatch OEMs in 2021. Its QoQ growth was more than 200% in the third quarter to record the brand’s best shipments ever. This growth retained strength until the last quarter. Moving to Wear OS through a partnership with Google has worked well for the brand in many ways.
  • Huawei launched high-end new models and kids’ smartwatches despite continued US sanctions, but inevitably its shipments would decline YoY. Due to the Watch GT 3 and Watch Fit Mini, which were released in the fourth quarter, Huawei’s shipments more than doubled QoQ in the quarter.
  • imoo did not release a new model in 2021, resulting in a slight YoY decline. However, as it entered markets outside China, such as Europe, it remained the undisputed No. 1 in the kids’ smartwatch segment.
  • Amazfit succeeded in expanding its position in the market in 2021, recording more than 20% YoY growth over the past two years. Its ASP also rose 11% as the proportion of the GTR and GTS, the high-end models of the brand, gradually increased.
  • Garmin performed better than expected in 2021. Garmin had initially focused on introducing high-priced smartwatches for special categories like aviation and divers. But it is gradually shifting focus to bringing attractive consumer products from price and design perspective. As a result, it showed 35% YoY growth and took sixth place by raising its global ranking by one place.
  • Fitbit showed weak performance in 2021. Since the launch of the Sense and Versa 3 models in the third quarter of 2020, there has been no launch of new models, which seems to be due to strategy changes and reorganization due to the merger with Google. Therefore, it showed a YoY decrease of more than 15% in 2021. But it is expected to rebound with the release of the Versa 4 in the second half of 2022.
  • Xiaomi showed strong performance with its Mi Watch Lite in the first half of 2021 and released the Redmi Watch 2 series in Q4 2021. In this series, it launched the ‘Lite’ variant to broaden users’ choices and we expect it to contribute to Xiaomi’s market share gain.
  • Noise, the one local king in India’s smartwatch market, was the fastest-growing brand among the global top nine brands. Leading the growth of the Indian smartwatch market, Noise was India’s No. 1 brand in 2021 and 2020.

Photo: Luke Chesser/Unsplash

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Apple Watch domination of smartwatch market continues, despite popularity of sub-$100 devices

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