Samsung Electronics managed to ship only 500,000 Gear S3 smartwatches over the third quarter of the year, or one wearable for every 23 smartphones it sold, as revealed by the latest industry data compiled and analyzed by Canalys. The South Korean original equipment manufacturer hence managed to seize only five percent of the global wearable market in Q3 2017, falling behind Huawei at six percent and not coming close to Fitbit, Xiaomi, and Apple who held 20, 21, and 23 percentage points of the segment, respectively.
Canalys suggested that both Samsung and Huawei are limited by their existing smartwatch strategies, with both companies committing themselves to wearable devices only to the extent of providing consumers with gadgets that complement their existing high-end smartphones. Unlike them, Fitbit is still delivering solutions that were designed to stand on their own, with their handset compatibility largely being just an extra feature. Apple remains an anomaly defying that trend, with the Cupertino, California-based tech giant also seeing the Apple Watch as a way to ennoble the iPhone user experience while simultaneously increasing brand loyalty and getting consumers more immersed in its product and service ecosystem with significant success. Boasting nearly a quarter of the global wearable market in Q3 2017, Apple’s smartwatch performance is still strong and shows little signs of slowing down despite its strategy being similar to that of Samsung.
The final quarter of the year is expected to be more lucrative for smartwatch and fitness band makers than the previous three-month period due to a multitude of reasons, including significantly improved hardware with more robust features, lighter design, and better battery life that’s set to have its commercial debut. Coupled with the fact that the holiday season is traditionally the busiest period for consumer electronics vendors due to the fact that people are more likely to commit to purchases, the fourth quarter of 2017 should see wearable shipments grow across the board, as suggested by Canalys. The market analytics company also reflected on Google’s Android Wear strategy as part of its latest report, claiming that the Alphabet-owned tech giant must be more proactive in assisting wearable makers looking to contribute to its ecosystem or risk losing additional market share to other platforms.