Global smartwatch market grew 24% in 2021, Apple stays on top

The global smartwatch market recorded a healthy 24 per cent (on-year) growth in 2021 owing to strong demand for sub-$100 smartwatches, and Apple maintained its top position with a 30 per cent market share, a new report showed on Monday.

The fourth quarter alone saw shipments of more than 40 million units, the highest quarterly shipments ever, according to Counterpoint Research.

“With their ability to monitor important health parameters like blood pressure, ECG and SPO2, these devices are becoming popular. Further, the attractiveness of smartwatches as independent wearable devices will increase if more of them start supporting cellular connectivity,” said Sujeong Lim, associate director.

Apple’s market share, however, fell 3 per cent (on-year) due to intensified competition. However, its ASP (average selling price) rose 3 per cent without the release of the iPhone SE model in 2021.

As a result, Apple accounted for half of the total market revenue.

Samsung was one of the most successful smartwatch original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in 2021. Its on-quarter growth was more than 200 per cent in the third quarter to record the brand’s best shipments ever.

“This growth retained strength until the last quarter. Moving to Wear OS through a partnership with Google has worked well for the brand in many ways,” the report noted.

Garmin performed better than expected in 2021. The company had initially focused on introducing high-priced smartwatches for special categories like aviation and divers.

“It is gradually shifting focus to bringing attractive consumer products from price and design perspective. As a result, it showed 35 per cent (on-year) growth and took sixth place by raising its global ranking by one place,” the report informed.

One of the driving forces behind the growth of the global smartwatch market in 2021 was the expansion of the Indian market.

The Indian smartwatch market accounted for only 3 per cent of the global market in 2020, but it grew four times in 2021 to raise its global market share to close to 10 per cent.

“Noise is the No. 1 Indian smartwatch brand and leads the growth of the local market. It captured the top position in 2021 due to its diverse product portfolio targeting the budget and mid segments, as well as strong partnerships with e-commerce players, financial institutions and celebrities, said senior research analyst Anshika Jain.




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