Apple Watch dominates the smartwatch market as sales surge in second quarter

August 8, 2019

Apple Watches accounted for nearly half of all smartwatches sold in the second quarter of this year as the industry for sophisticated wearable technology grew 44 per cent over the same period last year.

Twelve million smartwatches were sold between April 1 and June 30, according to a report from Strategy Analytics. Apple Watch is the leader, claiming 46 per cent market share in the second quarter and has gained momentum.

“Apple shipped 5.7 million smartwatches worldwide in the second quarter, rising an above-average 50 per cent from 3.8 million during the same time in 2018,” said Neil Mawston, an analyst at the US market researcher .

Apple Watch maintains a big lead ahead of its competitors, said Mr Mawston. Runners-up Samsung and Fitbit trailed with 16 per cent and 10 per cent of global market share, respectively.

To attract health-conscious customers, Apple integrated an electrocardiography (ECG) app into its Watch Series 4 and WatchOS 5 portfolio last year. Samsung has also reportedly applied to US health authorities for approval to add an ECG heart-monitoring feature to its smartwatches that will be introduced next year.

In 2018, global smartwatch shipments hit an all-time high of 45 million units and industry analysts expect solid growth in the coming years. According to Research and Markets in Dublin, the smartwatch industry will surge at a compound annual growth rate of more than 35 per cent during the period from 2018 to 2024.

Tech companies are also raising investment in smartwatches to diversify income as demand for smartphones falls. Collectively, Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin are the four most popular brands, accounting for eight in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide.

South Korea’s Samsung, which launched Galaxy Watch Active in February, managed to surpass Fitbit in the second quarter with 2 million units shipped, 800,000 more than its American competitor.

“Recent new models, such as Galaxy Watch Active 2, should enable Samsung to solidify its global smartwatch presence for the rest of this year,” said Steven Waltzer, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Fitbit, whose connected health platform and app was a useful differentiator for the brand, is now facing difficulty in retaining its market dominance with rising competition.

“Fitbit captured 10 per cent global smartwatch market share last quarter, slumping from 15 per cent a year ago,” said Mr Mawston.

“Fitbit has to move fast to execute a recovery. Samsung, Garmin, Fossil and other competitors are keen to grab a slice of its valuable health and fitness customers,” he said.