Global smartwatch market: Samsung suffers, Google grows, Apple leads

It looks like Google’s decision to launch a Pixel smartwatch has paid off. According to a report from Canalys, Google achieved the second position in the global smartwatch market in the previous quarter. In doing so, Google has struck Samsungwhich slipped to third place, whereas Apple continues to lead and dominate the market worldwide. That Pixel Watch has seen many buyers, and despite Fitbit’s decline in shipments, Google took second place.
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According to Canalys, it was a “challenging” Q4 for the wearables market as shipments fell 18% to 50 million units. “This marks the first double-digit decline for the market in a typically seasonally strong 4th quarter,” the Canalys report noted.
The smartwatch category itself was down 17% in the quarter. Apple’s shipments fell 17%, but it remained the market leader with a 27.5% market share. Google’s Pixel Watch helped it rise to second place with an 8% market share.
Samsung suffered the biggest drop – a whopping 35% – and it slipped to fifth place on the market. Canalys says this could be due WearOS migration slowing, and “it was further limited by the iterative update of the Galaxy Watch 5 series.” Xiaomi achieved fourth place, whereas Huawei came in third, but both companies saw their shipments fall in the quarter.
It is expected that the smartwatch market will grow in 2023, but not that significantly. “The wearable tape market is expected to grow at a modest 2% in 2023,” said Canalys analyst Cynthia Chen. “While we expect base bands to continue to decline, base watches and smartwatches will grow, but growth will be limited to below 10%. Suppliers will remain wary and emphasize quality over quantity given some recovery in consumer spending.”

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