Global smartwatch shipments grew a healthy 48% year-on-year (YoY) in Q1 2019 driven by Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Huawei, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Smartwatch Tracker.
Commenting on the major shift in the market, Counterpoint research analyst, Satyajit Sinha, said that the increase has been driven by the health-related features like ECG and fall detection in the Apple Watch Series 4.
“The heart rate sensor for health monitoring, GPS and pedometer sensors for fitness, and NFC embedded for payment are some of the key integrated technologies,” he said.
“Related use-cases and in addition to notifications with cellular capability are driving the smartwatch adoption. However, limited battery life remains a pain point for consumer’s decision-making process, irrespective of region and price band.”
Commenting on other vendors’ performance, senior analyst, Sujeong Lim said that Samsung grew exponentially at 127% YoY as the Korean brand’s market share jumped to 11% in Q1 2019.
“Its success was due to the latest Galaxy watch series which came with better battery life as well as a very traditional round clockface design,” Lim said.
“Further, it provides cellular LTE connectivity which gives it an edge over others targeting Android-based smartphone users. It is a great alternative to the Apple Watch for Android and Samsung’s huge installed base of users.”
Huawei’s market share jumped to 3% in Q1 2019 due to good traction for its latest Huawei Watch GT.
“The striking design, affordability, leveraging the growing ‘Huawei’ brand mindshare, and the smartphone user base is driving demand,” Lim said.
“Further, Huawei has shifted focus to sell more Huawei branded smartwatches whereas the smart bands are selling well under its Honor brand.”