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Smartwatch sales grow, Apple Watch dominates

Strategy Analytics, a research firm, says smartwatch shipments grew 20 per cent annually to 14 million units in the first quarter of 2020.

Apple Watch remains the top brand. It has a tick over 55 per cent market share. Sales of Apple Watch were up almost 23 per cent during the year. There is the Apple Watch market and then there is everything else.

Samsung long way behind Apple

Samsung is a long way behind with almost 14 per cent of the market. Its watch sales are also up, but only a shade under 12 per cent. That means Samsung in particular, and Android watches in general, are losing market share.

Third place goes to Garmin, which you rarely hear of in New Zealand. It has eight per cent of the market but saw sales increase by a whopping 37.5 per cent. ‘Others’ make up 22.6 per cent and, in market share terms, are falling relative to Apple and Garmin.

Huawei, which sells its own brand of Android watches and was early to the smartwatch market doesn’t appear to register in its own right. Count it among the ‘others’.

Phone up while PCs and phones languish

It’s interesting to see smartwatches are selling well. This is at a time when phone sales are plummeting and while there has been a temporary surge in PC sales, overall sales are, at best, flat.

The results underscore the recent trend which suggests Android struggles to break out of the phone sector. It may dominate mobile handsets, but has not successfully translated that success with either watches or tablets.

One key to this is that Apple understands how to build an entire support system about a product. The Apple Watch integrates with everything else Apple. You might, for example, use it to unlock your desktop iMac computer.

This integration and support system creates value for third parties to develop apps and complementary products. That’s not so much the case with Android watches. Yes, the watches overlap and integrate a little with phones, but pairing adds little value.