The Apple Watch held onto its first place spot in the smartwatch race during the calendar fourth quarter of 2018. Units shipped increased by 1.4 million units, even as its share of the market dropped by 16%.
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartwatch shipments grew an impressive 56 percent annually to reach a record 18 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018. Apple Watch maintained first position with 51 percent global smartwatch marketshare, while Samsung jumped to second place, overtaking Fitbit and Garmin.
The report indicates Apple shipped 9.2 million units of the Apple Watch during Q4 2018, up 18% from 7.8 million units shipped in Q4 2017. In spite of the increase, Apple’s share of the smartwatch market slid to 51% in the quarter, down from 67% a year ago. However, those numbers were still good for 51% of global smartwatch sales.
Samsung grabbed second place in the smartwatch sweepstakes, beating out Fitbit and Garmin, who took third and fourth place, respectively. The global smartwatch market grew impressively during Q4 2018, growing 56% during the period.
Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartwatch shipments grew an impressive 56 percent annually from 11.6 million units in Q4 2017 to a record 18.2 million in Q4 2018. Global smartwatch shipments hit an all-time high of 45.0 million units in full-year 2018. Smartwatch growth is soaring, as consumers seek to accessorize their smartphones and bring digital connectivity to their wrists.”
Apple is said to be losing market share due to the improvement in its competitors’ smartwatch products and improved retail presence.
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple shipped 9.2 million smartwatches worldwide in Q4 2018, rising 18 percent from 7.8 million units in Q4 2017. Apple’s global smartwatch marketshare slipped to 51 percent this quarter, down from 67 percent a year ago. Apple Watch is losing marketshare to Samsung and Fitbit, whose rival smartwatch portfolios and retail presence have improved significantly in the past year.”
Apple never officially announces Apple Watch sales numbers. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently told participants on an earnings call for fiscal Q1 2019 that the company’s wearables revenue was being driven by the popularity of both the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless earbuds, with revenue in the category “approaching the size of a Fortune 200 company.”