The 2018 holiday quarter was a good one for smartwatches, as Samsung and Fitbit each quadrupled shipments compared to a year before, according to reports. And although Apple Watch market share dropped 15 percent over the same time period, it still dominates with control of more than 50 percent of the market.
The total smartwatch market grew by 56 percent, and even with the lowered market share for Apple, it’s still selling more watches than it ever has before.
Shipments of Apple’s signature wearable went up by 1.4 million units from a year before, with a total of 9.2 million watches shipped in Q4. Samsung shipped 2.4 million units, which is up from 0.6 million the previous year. Fitbit shipments went up from 0.5 million to 2.3 million.
Some of the increased sales can be attributed to improved models. Apple released the Series 4 to good reviews and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch was also well received. Fitbit came out with the Versa, which many analysts said improved on some problems with the original.
Apple is constantly adding features to the device, and recently announced a deeper push into the healthcare field.
Aetna, part of the CVS health business, announced the launch of Attain, a new health experience designed by Aetna in collaboration with Apple. Via the Apple Watch, the Attain app will give Aetna members the ability to set personalized goals, track their daily activity levels, access health action recommendations and earn rewards for taking actions that improve their overall well-being.
The significance of that deal goes beyond expanding the Apple healthcare ecosystem — though that aspect is notable, given that Aetna has an estimated 18 million medical-plan members. The ongoing work between Apple and Aetna — the two companies signed their first deal in 2016 — follows findings that 90 percent of participants reported receiving a health boost from their Apple Watch. And rewards offered via that device seem to work in encouraging healthier habits. A global study conducted for Vitality Insurance recently revealed that people will exercise more if they are given a reward, such as a great deal on an Apple Watch.