Apple’s Apple Watch Series still takes first place on the market for smartwatches with a total of 51% global market share, but Samsung’s catching up overtaking Fitbit and Garmin.
The market for smartwatches increased an impressive 56% annual from 11.6 million units in Q4 2017 to a record 18.2 million in Q4 2018.
Last year’s Apple Watch Series 4 refined Apple’s wearable formula to deliver on its original vision. However, it was not able to retain all of its market shares as other brands are focusing their attention to the smartwatch market.
Despite Apple’s drop in market share, it is still selling more smartwatches than ever before. Apple’s shipments increased by 1.4 million units compared to the same quarter in the previous year, for a total of 9.2 million units shipped in Q4 2018.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch felt like a fresh start for the brand even if its execution was lacking. Meanwhile, Fitbit released the Versa, a cheaper second generation smartwatch that improved on a lot of the original’s problems.
“Samsung shipped 2.4 million smartwatches worldwide and captured 13 percent global smartwatch market share in Q4 2018, rising strongly from 5 percent market share a year ago. Samsung is once again the world’s second largest smartwatch brand. Its new Galaxy Watch proved popular in North America and Asia. Samsung has a good pipeline of new models for 2019, such as the innovative Galaxy Watch Active with blood-pressure tracking, and Samsung should perform well this year,” said Steven Waltzer an Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Fitbit captured 13 percent global smartwatch market share in Q4 2018, tripling from 4 percent in Q4 2017. Fitbit is becoming established as a top-tier smartwatch brand. Fitbit is very popular in the United States market. Fitbit’s Versa smartwatches are gaining mass-appeal, and its new Fitbit Care connected health platform is a useful differentiator for the brand.”
Samsung and Fitbit’s growth has caused Apple’s share of the smartwatch market to drop by over 15 percent over the same period, even if it still dominates with control of over half the market. The numbers paint a healthy picture for the global smartwatch market, which overall grew by 56 percent annually, according to a report by Business Wire.
Overall, Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartwatch shipments hit an all-time high of 45.0 million units in full-year 2018. Smartwatch growth is soaring, as consumers seek to accessorize their smartphones and bring digital connectivity to their wrists.”
“Combined together, Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin are the big four players, accounting for 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide,” said Mawtson.