Smartwatches may still be struggling to gain traction among mainstream consumers, but the segment is reportedly doing better recently than it has ever done before. That’s according to the latest report from Strategy Analytics, which says that the sector grew by a whopping 223% YoY in the first three months of this year to reach 4.2 million units globally from a lowly 1.3 million units in the corresponding quarter last year. The number, however represents a fall of 48% sequentially over Q4, 2015, when the segment saw sales of 8.1 million units globally, thanks to a remarkably successful holiday season. According to Mr. Rajiv Nair, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, “Global smartwatch growth is being driven by consumer demand for Apple, Android Wear and Tizen models across North America, Western Europe and Asia”.
As per the Strategy Analytics report, the category continues to be led by Apple’s first-generation Apple Watch, although the device itself has seen a decline in sales in recent times. Nonetheless, the report says that Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the sector with exactly two-thirds of the market between them. While Apple has about 52.4% of the global market as of Q1, 2016, Samsung Electronics comes in at a distant second with just 14.3% share of the global smartwatch pie, leaving Pebble, LG, Sony, Huawei, Motorola, Haier and all other smartwatch vendors combined to fight for the remaining third of the market. What’s alarming for both Samsung and Apple, however, is that both of them have seem significant losses in market share when the final quarter of last year is looked at. While Apple had 63% share of the market in Q4, 2015, Samsung had about 16%.
Meanwhile, with Apple not in the game in the first quarter of last year, Samsung actually had a very healthy 30.8% of the overall market during that period, although, the overall market now is significantly larger in size than it was back then. Coming to some hard numbers, overall shipments during the last quarter, as mentioned already, was over 4.2 million units. Of that, Apple alone shipped about 2.2 million units, while Samsung managed to move about 0.6 million of its Tizen-powered smartwatches. The rest of the vendors together managed to ship around 3.2 million units globally in Q1, 2016.