Apple Watch Series 4 outsold every other smartwatch in 2018

Apple Watch Series 4 outsold every other smartwatch in 2018
The Apple Watch has gone from strength to strength ever since it was first released in 2015. Last year was no different with the launch of the Series 4 model but, if new data from Counterpoint Research is anything to go by, it seems the latter took Apple’s success to a whole new level.

Apple Watch Series 4 & Series 3 were the most popular


Per today’s report, Apple Watch shipments grew by a considerable 22% in 2018. The total number of units sold was not mentioned – previous estimates indicate shipments of around 22.5 million units – but Counterpoint did list Apple’s Series 4 as the best-selling model last year despite being on sale for just over three months.

According to the data gathered, Apple managed to sell a whopping 11.5 million Series 4 units between the wearable’s release on September 21st and the end of December. Essentially, this means that Series 4 sales accounted for roughly half of Apple’s total smartwatch shipments last year. The Cupertino giant itself hasn’t yet commented on why its latest model has become so successful but Counterpoint believes the device’s health-related features such as ECG and fall detection are key. 

Rather unsurprisingly, the second most popular smartwatch last year was the Series 4’s predecessor. Although preliminary data suggested otherwise, further supply chain and channel checks suggest 2017’s Series 3 outsold every other smartwatch by a significant margin, the only exception being Apple’s latest offering.

The company managed to solidify its overall popularity with a third entry on the list of top five most popular smartwatches last year. Specifically, Apple occupied the fifth position with the Series 1 which was ultimately discontinued in September following the release of the Series 4.

Samsung and Fitbit grew noticeably last year too


The top five brands in the smartwatch segment collectively accounted for a whopping 70% of all shipments. Apple rather unsurprisingly led the pack with a market share of 37% and was followed in a distant second by China’s imoo with a 10% share. The latter is responsible for the Z3 which is a 4G LTE kids watch that’s especially popular in the brand’s home market. So popular, in fact, that it outsold Apple’s Series 1.

Following the leaders in third and fourth place were Samsung and Fitbit respectively. The former saw its market share increase to 9% due primarily to the popularity of the Galaxy Watch while the latter experienced massive growth – its market share increased from just 1% in 2017 to 8% in 2018 – thanks to the Fitbit Versa, which became the third best-selling smartwatch globally. Completing the top five was Xiaomi-backed Amazfit which also saw a decent increase in sales.

Although not yet as dominant as in the smartphone market, Huawei saw huge growth of 123% last year according to Counterpoint’s data. The brand’s share increased to 2% because of this and is expected to continue climbing throughout 2019 too. In fact, Counterpoint believes wearables will be Huawei’s only consumer segment to experience growth this year.

How will things change this year?


The smartwatch segment as a whole is expected to continue growing significantly this year. Apple is set to maintain its huge lead once again but could see a small drop in market share to 36%. Samsung, on the other hand, is expected to move up into second place by accounting for an impressive 10% of overall sales. This growth should be backed by the Galaxy Watch Active that launched this year and the Galaxy Watch 2 that could arrive later this summer.

According to Counterpoint’s report, China’s imoo will remain relatively steady thanks to the popularity of its kid watches but could still see a small drop in market share. Fitbit’s range of devices should remain popular too, although its share could decrease by one percentage point.

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15 Comments

1. aegislash

Posts: 1465; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Still need to grab me one of these...I hear the first gen isn’t getting any more major updates, so it’s about time I upgrade already.

2. apple-rulz

Posts: 1940; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

It’s an awesome watch, you’ll enjoy it.

3. surethom

Posts: 1635; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Not hard as there is only really Samsung that makes other smart watches. That could change if Google flipping released a flipping pixel watch.

4. lyndon420

Posts: 6599; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Samsung's Galaxy smartwatch definitely looks more classy and elegant. Battery life needs to improve though before I will consider owning a watch again.

5. Alcyone

Posts: 257; Member since: May 10, 2018

Bought myself a Galaxy watch directly from Samsung. My Gear s2 battery life was a day and a half, at best. My Galaxy watch lasts 3 days, run it from 100% to 15%. Thats my mileage, others may vary, but I'm quite happy with that.

7. Mike88

Posts: 228; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

The only classy Samsung watch was Gear S2 classic limited edition rose gold and platinum

6. Mike88

Posts: 228; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

And every other watch too,, Apple sells more watches then any other watch brand in the world

8. Vokilam

Posts: 1150; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I would pick one up too if they designed one that looked like Samsung’s offerings.

9. vgking9699

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Why, a round watch design is terrible Shown by fact that Apple Watch has been best selling since it came out and it’s the only major square smartwatch in existence which means people generally prefer it over circular designs that are barely selling in comparison It’s cuz a round screen on a smartwatch greatly limits what you can view for texts and photos on a already small screen by making it smaller by cutting off its corners and making it circle lol

10. Vancetastic

Posts: 952; Member since: May 17, 2017

Can he not prefer something different than you? Is that somehow illegal where you live?

11. vgking9699

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Just don’t expect it as that design isn’t exactly that well lol

13. Vokilam

Posts: 1150; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I think Apple is capable of making UI just as comprehensive and intuitive on a round watch as it does on square. I just want something that still looks like jewelry and be as functional as AW. I had a Samsung Watch with my Samsung devices and it looked and functioned fantastic. I want the same from Apple.

12. whatev

Posts: 2154; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

I thought the same but after I bought one I understood that this shape is the best form factor for the UI, actually I don’t think and I wouldn’t like if apple released a round Apple Watch, I don’t know what they would have to change or do to make the whole UI as enjoyable and usable as it is now

15. vgking9699

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Everything would basically have to shrink and move towards the center since the screen would be loosing all its four corner spaces, then photos would be majorly cropped in with missing parts around the edges and texts would be centered and shrunken in order to read everything properly and be able to show everything This is why we don’t need round smart watches just like we don’t have round TVs, monitors or phones

14. iloveapps

Posts: 724; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Samsung selling watch? I thought they’re bundle with galaxy phones as freebies together with airbuds and other accessories

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