The smartwatch market is seeing healthy growth, with global shipments up an impressive 67% annually to reach 10 million units in the third quarter of 2018.
Apple Watch maintained the top position with almost half (45%) share, followed by Fitbit, which overtook Samsung and Garmin for second spot now that it offers a series of more fully-featured smartwatches, such as the Ionic and the more affordable Versa.
"Global smartwatch shipments grew an impressive 67 per cent annually from six million units in Q3 2017 to 10 million in Q3 2018," says Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "Smartwatch growth is soaring, as consumers increasingly seek to accessorize their smartphones."
Apple shipped 4.5 million smartwatches worldwide in Q3 2018, rising 25% from 3.6 million units in Q3 2017. But Apple's global smartwatch marketshare slipped to 45% this quarter, down from 60% a year ago. "Apple is facing growing competition from a revitalized Fitbit and Samsung, and the recent launch of Apple's new Watch Series 4 model was a badly needed addition to its armory," says Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.
Meanwhile, Fitbit shipped 1.5 million smartwatches worldwide, and captured 15% of the market, rusing from having no marketshare in the category a year ago.
"Fitbit is now the world's second largest smartwatch brand," says Waltzer. "Its Versa portfolio is proving wildly popular across North America. Fitbit has further scope for growth next year by pushing deeper into Europe, Asia and Latin America."
Samsung snagged 11% share for the quarter, up slightly from 10% in Q3 2017. This marked Samsung's first marketshare gain in the smartwatch segment in over a year.
"Its new Galaxy Watch range is selling fairly well," says Mawston, "due to improved hardware design and aggressive marketing."
In fourth position was Garmin, which captured eight per cent of the worldwide smartwatch market during the quarter, falling from 10% a year ago.
"Rising competition from Fitbit, Samsung and others in the sports and music categories," says Mawston, "is making it harder for Garmin to make headway in smartwatches."