The coronavirus pandemic has limited our movements in every way. With lockdowns imposed in several European and Asian countries, the smartphone market has become stagnant. Meanwhile, the global smartwatch market continues to surge with 20-percent year-on-year growth. According to the latest Strategy Analytics report, global smartwatch shipments went up from 11.4 million units in Q1 2019 to 13.7 million units in Q1 2020.
“Despite considerable headwinds from the COVID-19 scare, global demand for smartwatches continued to grow. Smartwatches are selling well through online retail channels, while many consumers have been using smartwatches to monitor their health and fitness during virus lockdown,” said Steven Waltzer, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.
Apple holds half of smartwatch market
Apple continues to lead the global smartwatch market while Samsung, Garmin, and others follow. Its market share has grown from 54 percent to 55 percent over the same period. While Apple shipped 6.2 million Apple Watches in Q1 2019, the shipments increased to 7.6 million units in Q1 2020.
Samsung comes in at number 2 with a total of 1.9 million shipments globally in the first quarter of 2020. However, its market share has fallen from 14.9 percent in Q1 2019 to 13.9 percent in Q1 2020. The early outbreak of coronavirus in South Korea along with stiff competition led to Samsung's decline in worldwide market share.
Garmin is world's third-largest smartwatch brand
Garmin has returned to third place in the global smartwatch market share for the first time in two years. In the past year, it has grown from 7-percent to 8-percent. With an annual growth of 38 percent, Garmin has shipped 1.1 million smartwatches worldwide in Q1 2020. This significant growth is due to the popularity of the new Garmin smartwatches among the sports and fitness fans.
While the smartwatch market managed to do better in the first quarter of 2020, Strategy Analytics expect the growth will slow down in the second quarter of 2020. The smartwatch market is expected to recover during the second half of the year as the consumers will regain confidence and retail stores will be reopened.
Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, wrote, "Smartwatches continue to have excellent long-term prospects, as younger and older people will become more health-conscious in a post-virus world. Smartwatches can monitor vital health signs, such as oxygen levels, and consumers may find comfort in having a virtual health assistant strapped to their wrist.”
The top three brands account for just over 77-percent global smartwatch market share. In which, Apple alone held onto more than 55-percent of the market share.