As the global smartwatch shipments grew 53 per cent year-on-year, Apple continues to dominate the global smartwatch market holding 30 per cent share of the total smartwatches shipped. Apple was followed by Fitbit with 16 per cent market share.
“The introduction of the Series 4 was the biggest update from a design and features standpoint, and has quickly resonated with Apple’s loyal user base. Apple’s Series 3 saw an uptick later in the quarter with discounted pricing, while Apple’s Series 1 continued to be the single biggest selling SKU contributing to almost half of all Apple Watch shipments. This could change in holiday season quarter as our channel checks showed pent-up demand for the Series 4,” said Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack at Counterpoint Research.
According to a survey by the firm, the LTE communications capability in the Apple Watch is the most desirable feature. Cellular connectivity enables watches to work independently of smartphones – a capability that can drive the market.
“By end of this year, cellular-capable watches will likely contribute to 20 per cent of global smartwatch shipments. This will be a challenge for Fitbit to solve and range LTE SKUs in their portfolio,” the report added.
Imoo, a sub-brand of a Chinese OEM BBK Group (which owns OPPO, Vivo and OnePlus) held a healthy 10 per cent global market share in Q3 2018. Samsung smartwatch shipments grew seven per cent quarter-on-quarter and 22 per cent year-on-year due to a better performance of both its Gear S3 and the new Galaxy Watch launched in August.
Amazfit, a sub-brand of a Chinese OEM Huami, holds three per cent market share and grew 41 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2018.
“Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon wear platform is not only enabling LTE connectivity but also bringing a much-needed ultra-low power architecture to the smartwatches. It remains to be seen if the new platform can boost AndroidWear smartwatch sales and market share, which have been stagnant at 17 per cent,” added Research Director, Neil Shah.