Strong online sales ensured a growth in worldwide smartwatch shipments in the first three months of this year, despite the impact of the global health crisis, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics.
Shipments grew 20 percent year on year in the first quarter, reaching 13.7 million units, up from 11.4 million units in the previous quarter. Apple Watch retained its dominant top spot with 55 percent market share, following by Samsung, with Garmin rising to third place.
In Q1 2020, 7.6 million Apple Watch units shipped, a 23 percent increase from the 6.2 million shipped in the same quarter a year ago. Apple Watch’s market share was up marginally from 54 percent to 55 percent.
Samsung shipped 1.9 million smartwatch units, up from 1.7 million last year, but its market share declined from 15 percent to 14 percent, due to a combination of the health crisis in South Korea and strong competition from Garmin and other rivals.
Garmin shipped 1.1 million units, compared to 800,000 units a year ago. That’s a 38 percent increase year on year and a growth in Garmin’s market share from 7 to 8 percent.
Strategy Analytics predicts a slowdown in growth in the second quarter of 2020, with a recovery in the second half of the year as retail stores reopen and consumers look to smartwatches to help monitor their health.
Steven Waltzer, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartwatch shipments grew 20 percent annually from 11.4 million units in Q1 2019 to 13.7 million 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.”
Apple is expected to launch Apple Watch Series 6 this fall with more rumored health-related features taking top billing, including blood oxygen level tracking, sleep tracking, and a new fitness app.