New challenger moves into second place behind Apple in global smartwatch shipments

New challenger moves into second place behind Apple in global smartwatch shipments
Ever since the Apple Watch was first released in April 2015, it was on the way to becoming the most popular timepiece in the world. Last year, the Apple Watch remained the top smartwatch in the world based on shipments although its lead declined as a new challenger took over second place. According to Counterpoint Research, in 2021, the Apple Watch made up 30.1% of smartwatch deliveries worldwide, down from the 32.9% share that the device enjoyed in 2020.

One big change took place last year behind Apple where Samsung moved into second place with a 10.2% share replacing Huawei's 10.7% slice of the smartphone pie. Apple's lead declined from 22.2 percentage points in 2020 to 19.9 percentage points in 2021. Without the release of a cheaper Apple Watch SE model last year, the Average Selling Price for the Apple Watch rose 3%.

After Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, kids' smartwatch firm imoo was next with a 5.2% slice of the global smartwatch pie. Amazfit (5.1%), Garmin (4.6%), fitbit (3.8%), Mi (3.6%), and noise (2.6%) were next in that order. Among the standout performances, Samsung saw its Q3 revenue soar 200% on a sequential basis scoring its best quarterly results ever for its smartwatch division.

Releasing new high-end watches and a kids' smartwatch, Huawei saw its Q4 smartwatch shipments double quarter over quarter thanks to the release of the Watch GT 3 and Watch Fit Mini.

On a revenue basis, the Apple Watch made up about half of the industry's total revenue last year. Apple is expected to bring three new models to the marketplace this coming fall according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The latter has called for the introduction this September of the Apple Watch Series 8, a second-generation budget Apple Watch SE, and a rugged Apple Watch that is focused on extreme sports.

Gurman says that the only new health-related feature that he sees being added to the Apple Watch Series 8 is one that measures a user's body temperature.

The global smartwatch market saw shipments rise 24% year-over-year in 2021. The world's second-largest smartphone market, India, saw its share of smartwatch shipments rise from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2021, a 274% increase.

Counterpoint Associate Director Sujeong Lim said, "The global smartwatch market’s good growth in 2021 is meaningful in itself, but it is more meaningful in that it makes us look forward to future growth. With their ability to monitor important health parameters like blood pressure, ECG and SPO2, these devices are becoming popular. Further, the attractiveness of smartwatches as independent wearable devices will increase if more of them start supporting cellular connectivity."

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