Smartwatch shipments jump almost 50% as Apple still leads the pack

In a nutshell: Remember a time when smartwatches were starting to look like a fad that would soon die out? That’s now firmly in the past, with global shipments growing 42 percent year-over-year to 14 million units in the third quarter.

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple continues to lead the pack by a wide margin. The Cupertino firm shipped 6.8 million of its Apple Watches in Q3 2019, up 51 percent compared to the 4.5 million units it shipped during the same quarter last year. It now holds 47.9 percent of the smartwatch market, up from 45 percent during Q3 2018.

Second-place Samsung also saw its smartwatch business improve this year. It experienced a 73 percent YoY increase as unit shipments went from 1.1 million to 1.9 million, giving it a 13.4 percent share of the market.

The third main industry player is Fitbit. It also saw yearly growth, though only by 7 percent. The company’s 1.6 million shipments last quarter gave it an 11.3 percent market share, which is down from 15 percent a year earlier.

Strategy Analytics writes that Fitbit continues to underperform the smartwatch industry average and that Google’s recent acquisition of the company will probably come as a relief, though it will be interesting to see what its plans are for Fitbit and its products.

In the final ‘Others’ section, shipments were up 34 percent to 3.9 million. Overall, total smartwatch shipments reached 14.2 million in Q3 2019, up 42 percent from the 10 million units the year before, painting a rosy picture for the industry.

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