Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market in Q3

Fitbit continues to shift its focus from predominantly SmartBand/trackers to smartwatches and has now evolved as the next best player to Apple in terms of experience and scale

    Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market with a lion's share of 30 percent of the smartwatches shipped, according to the latest findings from Counterpoint's "Global Smartwatch Tracker".

    Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market in Q3

    "The introduction of the Series 4 this fall was the biggest update from a design and features standpoint and has quickly resonated with Apple's loyal user base. Apple's Series 3 saw an uptick later in the quarter with discounted pricing, while Apple's Series 1 continued to be the single biggest selling SKU contributing to almost half of all Apple Watch shipments. This could change in holiday season quarter as our channel checks showed pent-up demand for the Series 4, Counterpoint, Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack said.

    Global smartwatch shipments grew 53 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of this year with a strong performance from Fitbit, kids watch brands such as Imoo and start-ups such as Amazfit, the firm said.

    Fitbit's share in the smartwatch shipments market went up to 16 percent in Q3 of this year, from six percent in the same quarter last year, registering a year-over-year growth of 348 percent in terms of shipments, the report said.

    "Fitbit continues to shift its focus from predominantly SmartBand/trackers to smartwatches and has now evolved as the next best player to Apple in terms of experience and scale," Counterpoint Research Analyst Satyajit Sinha said.

    "The launch of the Versa smartwatch was the turning point for Fitbit's smartwatch segment growth. The health/fitness factor is playing a key role in driving consumer decision making for the adoption of smartwatches and Fitbit has entirely focused on this core use case," Sinha added.

    The firm said in our latest smartwatch survey among US consumers, the LTE communications capability in the Apple Watch is the most desirable feature.

    Cellular connectivity enables watches to work independently of smartphones - a capability that we believe will drive the market. By end of this year, cellular-capable watches will likely contribute to 20 percent of global smartwatch shipments. This will be a challenge for Fitbit to solve and range LTE SKUs in their portfolio.

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