Apple maintained its top spot thanks to the late launch of Apple Watch 7, as global smartwatch shipments grew 13 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022, despite concerns about economic slowdown and inflation, according to a report. Samsung solidified its second position with the popularity of the Galaxy Watch 4 series. Huawei, Xiaomi and Garmin rounded out the top 5 list, with Xiaomi performing well with the record quarterly shipments registering a 69 percent year-over-year growth in the quarter.
According to Counterpoint Research’s Global Smartwatch Model Tracker, Apple maintained a solid lead, registering a 14 percent year-over-year increase in the first quarter of 2022. Due to the delayed launch of Apple Watch 7, some shipments were carried over to the first quarter of 2022. , which helped the iPhone maker maintain its top position worldwide with a market share of 36.1 percent.
“While the global smartwatch market grew little in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19, it has continued to perform well since last year’s rebound. In particular, Apple accounted for more than a third of total shipments last year and is further increasing its influence with a market share of 36 percent in the first quarter of this year,” said Associate Director Sujeong Lim.
Second place went to Samsung, which registered a 46 percent increase in shipments due to growth in the APAC region, driven by the popularity of the Galaxy Watch 4 series. The South Korean giant took 10.1 percent of the global market share. In third place, Huawei’s growth remained stable year-over-year (7.2 percent) in terms of shipments due to its weak position in the international market.
Another Chinese brand, Xiaomi, registered the maximum (69 percent) YoY growth with its increased penetration in the international markets. The report says Xiaomi’s sales grew with the sale of low-end wearables (less than $100, or about Rs. 7,800), gaining 5 percent market share.
The Counterpoint report also says Garmin (4.3 percent share) ranked fifth in terms of shipments, but was third in terms of revenue due to its higher ASP. “It occupies most of the premium segment over $500 (approximately Rs. 38,850),” the report noted. It is followed by Amazfit (4 percent), which drove the success of the GTR 3 and GTS 3 series launched in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Another player is FitBit, which saw its sales fall. It has merged with Google and appears to be undergoing an internal reorganization. No models were released last year and the transition to Wear OS was also delayed. It captured 2.7 percent of the market share.
The Counterpoint report says most major regions grew year on year, but Europe posted flat growth. “We initially expected that the war between Russia and Ukraine would have minimal impact on the market in the first quarter, but the prolongation of the conflict and the resulting logistical constraints are starting to affect the European region. The impact of the war will become more severe in the second quarter,” Lim added.