Advances in technology have enabled smartwatches to have more powerful chips, larger screens and longer battery life. Naturally, all these improvements made them more desirable for consumers and by 2018 the smartwatch market had grown considerably.
We have a good idea of what happened on the smartwatch market last year thanks to Strategy Analytics and its latest report. The report contains some expected results but also some surprises, let's take a closer look.
Starting with the units sold first, we can see that Apple has sold 22.5 million units of its Apple Watch (which of course includes older generations), which is exactly half of that. that all smartwatch manufacturers have shipped in 2018. That's quite what comes in second could be a bit of a shock. If you think Samsung is the world's second largest smartwatch maker, you're wrong! In fact, it's Fitbit!
Although Fitbit sold a lot less devices than Apple, "only" 5.5 million, these were enough to place it second, thereby exceeding Samsung with about 200,000 units. The impressive result comes mainly from the popularity of the Fitbit Versa in the United States. The affordable smartwatch appealed to people with its impressive price / feature ratio and great software (see our article on Fitbit Versa).
Let's talk about market share now. Of course, the photo below shows the category of units delivered: Apple is again in the lead with its market share of 50%. While this is quite an achievement, the company has actually lost more than 10% of the market in 2018. Almost all of this has been transferred to Fitbit, which has managed to pass a 1.7% market share to 12.2% in 2018. just over 1% to 11.8%. We expect Samsung to improve these figures in 2019, as the company has launched its Galaxy Watch Active, an affordable device, to directly support the Versa. We doubt that Fitbit is sitting and watching, so expect the competition to warm up.
Together, the top four groups account for over 80% of the global smartwatch market. This is not surprising considering that Apple owns 50% alone, it remains no less than that shows that make a good smartwatch remains a challenge. Even Huawei, which has a few models on the market and is the world's second largest maker of smartphones, has not been able to break into the smartwatch scene.
It's still relatively early in 2019 and we've already seen new smart watches, which know how things will unfold by the end. We are really excited to see!