Global smartwatch shipments in quarter one of 2021 grew 35% year-over-year, according to Counterpoint Research’s recently published Global Smartwatch Model Tracker.
The research group says that Apple maintained its leadership position, catalyzing the overall market growth by recording a 50% year-over-year increase in the demand for the new Series 6 models. As a result, the company saw its market share climb by 3% points.
Samsung’s shipments also rose 27% year-over-year, with the popularity of the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active series. However, Counterpoint Research says the South Korean vendor’s growth was below the market average and it saw a small dip in its market share. Huawei continued to lose share compared to a strong quarter a year ago.
“Apple was able to further solidify its leadership position in the market by widening the portfolio from Watch SE to Series 6 at the right time,” says Senior Analyst Sujeong Lim. “This may drive Samsung to launch a mid-price-tier model to boost growth.”
In terms of smartwatch OS platforms, Apple’s watchOS captured more than a third of the market with a growing attach rate to its base of billion iPhone users. Counterpoint Research says Google’s Wear OS has not yet achieved such success in smartwatches because most of the major smartwatch brands have developed and installed their own proprietary OS (like Fitbit OS, Tizen and Garmin OS). Further, Wear OS has been lacking behind in terms of features, battery optimization and chipset support. This has limited its share to a mere 4% of the global smartwatch market.