A new Counterpoint Research says global smartwatch shipments had a 35% jump YoY in Q1 2021. The Apple Watch accounts for a third of the smartwatch market in this quarter, according to the new data.
According to the report, Apple maintained its leadership position catalyzing the overall market growth by recording a 50% YoY increase in the demand for the Series 6 models.
Apple saw its market share climb by 3%. Samsung’s shipments also rose 27% YoY with the popularity of the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active Series, but the South Korean vendor’s growth was below the market average, and it saw a small dip in its market share.
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. This may drive Samsung to launch a mid-price-tier model to boost growth,” said senior analyst Sujeong lim.
In terms of smartwatch OS platforms, Apple’s watchOS captures more than a third of the market with a growing attach rate to its base of a billion iPhone users. Counterpoint Research analysts are expecting some changes in the long term after Samsung and Google announced they are partnering on a new Wear OS:
“This is a great move by Google to accelerate its ambitions for the wearables space. It can build a robust portfolio of Wear devices integrating the best of all the three worlds – Tizen OS, Wear OS and Fitbit OS. The consolidation brings more power to Google’s Wear platform and will attract more developers to build newer experiences for the wrist,” said VP Researcher Neil Shah.
Shah also thinks the wearable market will be important for the big techs in the long term. “Wearable devices and services are going to become important for companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon as they increasingly expand their reach in healthcare, pharmaceutical, and insurance verticals directly or indirectly.”
Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 6 alongside the Apple Watch SE last year. Both Watches have a 30% faster processor than the previous model. Series 6 brings a blood-oxygen sensor, has an ECG dedicated app, and a brighter Always-On display.
For the Apple Watch Series 7, Apple could introduce a breakthrough blood sugar level detection feature. ET News out of Korea reported in January 2021 that both Samsung and Apple are working on bringing blood sugar measurements to their watches this year.