As global smartwatch shipments grew by 37 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, Apple has maintained dominance in the category with a 41 percent market share. And, while 90 percent of smartwatches currently shipped do not have cellular capabilities, smartwatch makers are looking to add that functionality to their devices, Counterpoint Research said in a press release.
“Back in Q4 2017, Apple stepped up its strategy in the smartwatch segment by enhancing the features of smartwatches into broad-based functionalities, including some health and fitness tracking capabilities,” Counterpoint Research Analyst Satyajit Sinha said in the release. “Moreover, Apple is catalyzing the trend of ‘smartwatch as a standalone wearable device’ with adoption of cellular connectivity, which is driving the new wave of cellular connected wearables globally, great news for mobile operators.”
In terms of models, the firm reported that the five best-selling smartwatches are the Apple Series 1, Fitbit Versa, Amazfit Bip, Apple Series 3 and Fitbit Ionic. And, in terms of platform, Apple holds 41 percent, Tizen holds 2 percent and Android holds 7 percent with “proprietary” as 50 percent.
The Apple Watch has been driving the wearables market: The company saw sales jump 60 percent in 2017, with 16 million units shipped. That’s according to CCS Insight – in a report released in February, they predicted that worldwide wearables sales are forecast to grow an average of 20 percent annually during the course of the next five years, hitting $29 billion by 2022.
In the wearables category, CCS Insight said smartwatches are the most associated product, led by the Apple Watch. The firm estimated that around a quarter of the Apple Watch sales in the fourth quarter of last year were the model that has built-in cellular, enabling consumers to make payments and phone calls.
“It’s not surprising that traditional watchmakers are looking over their shoulders nervously at Apple, given the significant slice of the market it has secured in just three years. Our projections show that in 2018, Apple will come close to matching worldwide sales of Swiss-made watches, which sold 24 million units in 2017,” CCS Insight reported in a press release highlighting the results.