Apple, Samsung, and even Garmin performed rather well in the global smartwatch market in Q2

Apple, Samsung, and even Garmin performed rather well in the global smartwatch market in Q2
Stop us if you've heard this one before. With another quarter in the rearview mirror, Apple's supremacy among the world's largest smartwatch vendors remains as unflinching as ever, with the best efforts from arch-rivals Samsung and Huawei merely resulting in a fierce battle for the thriving industry's silver medal.

If that description happens to sound familiar, the reason might be that the latest smartwatch market report released by Counterpoint Research looks incredibly similar to the one covering the year's first three months, as well as several others before it.

That being said, there are still plenty of interesting new findings and revelations to discuss at this crossroads of sorts for the wearable industry, which could be transformed for good by the impending Apple Watch Series 7 launch and recent Galaxy Watch 4 announcement with Wear OS 3.

Apple hits major milestone while Samsung closes the gap to Huawei

As usual, Apple is the big winner of the global smartwatch game, with a healthy 28 percent slice of a Q2 2021 pie that's 27 percent larger than back at the end of last year's second calendar quarter.

But while that market share remains higher than the combined numbers of the next three vendors, the Cupertino-based tech giant may not be too happy to see its 30.1 percent slice of the Q2 2020 pie shrink by more than two percentage points over the course of 12 months.

Perhaps more worryingly, Apple managed to reign supreme in Q1 2021 with a towering 33.5 percent market share that's now down by five and a half percentage points. Of course, the company didn't release any new products in Q1 or Q2, but the same goes for Samsung, which jumped from fourth to third place in the manufacturer chart between June 2020 and June 2021 on the back of a year-on-year shipment rise of 43 percent.

That brings the Korea-based colossus just 1.7 percent behind the 9.3 percent market share of Huawei, whose smartphone troubles are slowly extending to its smartwatch business as well. Still, it's definitely worth highlighting that Samsung was actually even closer to the number two spot in Q1 2021.

Meanwhile, Apple can certainly be proud of crossing 100 million active users with its family of stunningly successful smartwatches established just six years ago. That phenomenal achievement is a testament to not only the company's strong and steady sales figures but also a completely unrivaled customer retention rate.

Garmin explodes while the Apple Watch SE beats the Galaxy Watch Active 2

If you had to guess the names of the world's fourth and fifth-largest smartwatch vendors, you'd probably never go with imoo and Garmin respectively, would you? That's because the former is a totally unknown brand in the Western Hemisphere, whereas the latter is generally viewed as Fitbit's less popular direct rival.

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But after the now Google-owned company managed to place fifth at the end of the January - March 2021 timeframe, Garmin saw an incredible year-on-year sales boost of 62 percent during the year's second quarter, which was enough to garner it a 5.8 percent market share.

That wasn't enough, however, to secure the US-based outfit a spot among the five best-selling smartwatch models of Q2 2021. Three of those unsurprisingly came from Apple, with the high-end Series 6 edging out the budget-friendly SE for the overall trophy and the oldie but goodie Series 3 sitting behind the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

That marks two obvious disappointments for Samsung at the same time, as the chaebol must have hoped the newer and pricier Galaxy Watch 3 would prove more successful than the Watch Active 2, which in turn was likely expected to give the Apple Watch SE a run for its money.

It remains to be seen how Samsung's switch from Tizen to Wear OS will impact the mainstream popularity of the Galaxy Watch lineup in Q3 2021 and beyond, as well as what Apple can do to fend off a potential onslaught of faster, smoother, and more practical devices powered by Google's entirely new software platform.

Of course, while the Apple Watch Series 7 is all but guaranteed to become one of the best smartwatches money can buy as early as next month, we can't say the same about the Fossil Gen 6 or Mobvoi's upcoming TicWatches, which will have to wait until next year to join the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic on the Wear OS 3 boat.

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