Apple Watch Accounts for 48% of the Smartwatch Market

Apple’s domination of the smartwatch market continues with their Series 5 model. With a rapid growth in shipments, the Apple Watch now accounts for 48% of the smartwatch market.

By Chand Bellur

November 9, 2019 at 3:45 p.m. PDT

Apple Ships 6.8 Million Smartwatches in Q3 2019

The leader in Smartwatches, Apple increased shipments of their iconic wearable by 51% in the third quarter of 2019. Although their closest competitor, Samsung, shipped 73% more smartwatches than the previous quarter, Apple shipped more than three times as many units.

Strategy Analytics’ reports of Q3 2019 smartwatch shipments show Apple is way ahead of the pack. (Year-over-year growth displayed in parentheses.)

  • Apple: 6.8 million (51%)
  • Samsung: 1.9 million (73%)
  • Fitbit: 1.6 million (7%)
  • Others: 3.9 million (34%)

Apple’s Ecosystem Advantage

Apple has a massive advantage when it comes to wearables — the ecosystem. Their products work together seamlessly, in a way competitors can’t match.

Customers outside of the Apple ecosystem have a variety of devices to chose from. These all offer different capabilities. Even within one brand, such as Samsung, there are myriad models, with vastly different capabilities. This complicates device interoperability. To some extent, devices have to shed features and setup convenience, in order to accommodate so many disparate devices.

The Apple ecosystem has a limited number of devices with a rich set of features. When you buy a new Apple product, it practically sets itself up by communicating with other devices.

The Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple TV and just about every Apple product work this way. The Apple Watch appeals to customers because it integrates with their iPhone and other Apple devices elegantly and seamlessly. The product itself is aesthetically pleasing with high end options for the fashion-conscious.

Can Google Turn Around Fibit?

Google recently filed with the SEC to acquire wearables maker Fitbit. The move would put Google into direct competition with the Apple Watch.

Google operates an ecosystem that transcends devices. Even most Apple customers use a fair amount of Google products. By acquiring Fitbit, Google could leverage their ecosystem to tighten device coupling.

Turning around troubled hardware manufacturers isn’t something Google does well. Their brief acquisition of Motorola failed to prove lucrative. The company ended up buying Motorola for $12.5 billion and sold it for $2.9 billion.

The device business isn’t an easy one. Despite Android’s success, the iPhone, made by one single company, still manages to be remarkably successful. The Apple Watch has similar staying power. Google may have learned lessons with Motorola, but Apple is so far ahead, it’s likely the Apple Watch will dominate the wearables market for the foreseeable future.

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