Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market in Q2 2018

Samsung smartwatch shipments declined 17 percent QoQ and 43 percent YoY.

By Priyanka Dua

    Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market with a 41 percent share as global smartwatch shipments grew 37 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, as per Counterpoint report said.

    Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market in Q2 2018

    "Apple is catalyzing the trend of 'smartwatch as a standalone wearable device' with the adoption of cellular connectivity, which is driving the new wave of cellularly connected wearables globally, great news for mobile operators," Counterpoint Research Analyst, Satyajit Sinha said.

    Meanwhile, Fitbit's share in smartwatch shipments grew exponentially, majorly due to the huge success of Versa which was released in April 2018. Its market share increased from 8 percent in Q2 2017 to 21 percent in Q2 2018.

    Sinha, further added, "Battery-life is a constant concern with smartwatches, given their tiny batteries. However, Apple, Samsung, and Huawei are consistently working to optimize the software and the overall design and adding components such as eSIM to make space for bigger batteries. Moreover, the adoption of cellular Low Power Wireless Access (LPWA), technology especially LTE-M in smartwatches will also drive core use-cases in a smartwatch while boosting battery life."

    The research firm said that the shift to Androidwear OS still has not happened like in Android for smartphones.

    "This is partly due to lesser focus, less intuitive user interface (UI) and selective smartwatch OEM partnerships by Google over the last few years for Android wear OS," it said.

    "Despite initial hype and traction of cellular-based Apple Watch Series 3 in the first two quarters, Apple iPhone users are actually choosing the Series 1 as a non-cellular option over Series 3 non-cellular model which is surprising to many industry watchers Research Director, Neil Shah, said.

    This also shows Apple users are choosing Series 3 preferably if they want to add cellular connectivity, else Series 1 remains the most popular model contributing to almost nine out of ten Apple Watch sold in Q2 2018, he added.

    The report also pointed out that Samsung smartwatch shipments declined 17 percent QoQ and 43 percent YoY. The major concern for Samsung is the limited refresh rate on its portfolio along with premium prices. However, Samsung launched its Gear S4 in Aug 2018, which will increase its shipments in Q3 2018.

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