Smartwatch market leader Apple dominates, but not in premium segment

It’s no surprise that Apple remains the smartwatch market leader by a considerable margin, according to the latest data, but what’s unusual is that the company doesn’t top the list in the premium smartwatch segment.

At the other end of the scale, Xiaomi is showing increasing signs of owning the budget segment …

Smartwatch popularity increased in Q1

Counterpoint Research says that shipments grew significantly year-on-year, despite supply chain challenges and concerns about inflation fears curbing demand for consumer electronics.

The global smartwatch market recorded 13% more shipments compared to the same period last year, despite concerns over economic slowdown and inflation, according to Counterpoint Research’s recently published Global Smartwatch Model Tracker.

Associate Director Sujeong Lim said, “Although the global smartwatch market saw little growth in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19, it has continued to perform well since its rebound last year.

While that growth was seen in most regions of the world, European shipments were flat, most likely due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

We initially expected the war between Russia and Ukraine to have minimal impact on the market in Q1, but the prolongation of the conflict and the resulting logistical constraints have begun to affect the European region. The impact of the war will become more serious in Q2.

Apple unchallenged as smartwatch market leader

The Apple Watch maintained its dominance of the market, with a 36.1% market share, more than triple that of second-placed Samsung at 10.1%. Counterpoint expects this trend to continue.

Apple accounted for more than a third of the total shipments last year, and it is further increasing its influence with a market share of 36% in the first quarter of this year. The high brand loyalty of iPhone users is one of the success factors of the Apple Watch. This popularity appears to be higher among the younger generation, making Apple an irreplaceable market leader. Of course, everything was possible because the high performance of the product and the excellent connection among supported iOS devices. We believe that Apple’s market share is likely to rise further by the end of this year.

Apple maintained a solid lead and increased 14% YoY in Q1 2022. Some shipments carried over to Q1 2022 due to a month late launch of Apple Watch 7, which helped continue the strength of the brand.

But Garmin top in premium segment

Apple normally owns the premium segment in each of its product categories, but this isn’t true in smartwatches. Garmin has the greatest share of the >$500 market, which is why it is fifth in market share but third in revenue.

The company’s smartwatches are first choice for consumers into hiking and camping, thanks to rugged designs, TOPO mapping, and solar charging that can extend battery life as far as 56 days.

The company’s lineup also includes sophisticated dive computers with features like monitoring remaining air for the wearer and their dive buddies.

Other brands

Samsung boosted its own market share from 7.8% in Q1 2021 to 10.1% in the same quarter this year. Much of that growth was attributed to the popularity of Galaxy Watch 4 series, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Xiaomi cleaned up in the budget segment.

Xiaomi recorded its first Top 4 position with 69% YoY growth and is breaking its shipment record every quarter as it rapidly penetrates globally. A large proportion of its sales come from the low-end segment under $100.

Fitbit saw its market share shrink after launching no new models following its acquisition by Google. The Android creator wants to transition the lineup to Wear OS, which is the likely reason for the delay.

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Smartwatch market leader Apple ‘irreplaceable,’ but doesn’t lead premium segment

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