Apple totally crushed its 'hungry' smartwatch market rivals during Q1 2020

Apple totally crushed its 'hungry' smartwatch market rivals during Q1 2020
The latest smartwatch market report is out, and unsurprisingly, it has Apple at the top of the vendor ranks, light years ahead of "hungry rivals" like Samsung and Garmin. Although the company's Series 5 device saw daylight at the beginning of the previous quarter with an unchanged design and modest list of upgrades over 2018's Series 4 generation, the Cupertino-based tech giant impressively managed to not only consolidate its industry dominance, but extend its lead to the global market's silver medalist during Q1 2020.

With no less than 7.6 million units shipped around the world between January and March, Apple seized a commanding 55.5 percent slice of the pie, according to Strategy Analytics, representing its highest quarterly share in two years. That's a remarkable feat considering the increasing maturity of the smartwatch industry, as well as the aforementioned "averageness" (by the company's standards) of the Apple Watch Series 5.

While Cupertino's share didn't exactly rise dramatically year-on-year, gaining a single percentage point, the 7.6 million unit shipment total is a solid 22.6 percent higher than the Q1 2019 tally of 6.2 million copies. Strictly looking at growth, another smartwatch vendor was actually the quarter's strongest performer, improving its Q1 2019 sales by a whopping 37.5 percent to finish the January - March 2020 timeframe in third place, ahead of arch-rival Fitbit.

We're talking about Garmin, which released a slew of new products late last year on its path to 8 percent market share during the first three months of this year, up from only 7 percent in Q1 2019. The Venu, which is the company's first-ever smartwatch to sport a high-quality OLED touchscreen, is singled out as a top performer, crucially contributing to a shipment total of 1.1 million units, up from 0.8 million year-on-year.

In second place, Samsung had a decent but far from impressive quarter, marginally boosting its sales numbers to 1.9 million units while losing market share due to the "coronavirus lockdown at home in South Korea and renewed competition from hungry competitors like Garmin."

Speaking of the coronavirus pandemic, this is unsurprisingly expected to cause a sharp decline in smartwatch shipments this quarter, but the industry should bounce back to growth as soon as Q3 after jumping 20 percent in Q1, from a grand total of 11.4 million unit sales this time last year to almost 14 million.

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