Apple maintained its leading position and registered a healthy 50 percent growth in the global smartwatch market in the first quarter this year, as worldwide shipments grew 35 percent (on-year) in Q1 2021, a new report showed on Thursday.
With a surge in demand for its Series 6 models, Apple saw its market share climb by 3 percent from the year-ago quarter to reach 33.5 percent in the March quarter this year, according to Counterpoint Research’s ‘Global Smartwatch Model Tracker’.
Samsung’s shipments also rose 27 percent with the popularity of the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active series.
Huawei continued to lose share compared to a strong quarter a year ago.
“Apple was able to further solidify its leadership position in the market by widening the portfolio from Watch SE to Series 6 at the right time. This may drive Samsung to launch a mid-price-tier model to boost growth,” said senior analyst Sujeong Lim.
In terms of smartwatch OS platforms, Apple’s WatchOS captured more than a third of the market with a growing attach rate to its base of billion iPhone users.
Google’s Wear OS has not yet achieved such success in smartwatches.
“This is because most of the major smartwatch brands have developed and installed their own proprietary OS (like Fitbit OS, Tizen, and Garmin OS), the report showed.
Further, Wear OS has been lacking behind in terms of features, battery optimization, and chipset support. This has limited its share to a mere 4 percent of the global smartwatch market.
Google’s new Wear platform will be shipping in the next generation of the Galaxy Watch series in late Fall.
Commenting on the Google-Samsung announcement, Vice President Research Neil Shah said that this is a great move by Google to accelerate its ambitions for the wearables space.
“It can build a robust portfolio of Wear devices integrating the best of all the three worlds — Tizen OS, Wear OS, and Fitbit OS. The consolidation brings more power to Google’s Wear platform and will attract more developers to build newer experiences for the wrist,” Shah explained.