Global sales of smartwatches grew 13% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year, with Apple Watch gobbling the largest slice of the pie by far, new research indicates.
Apple’s wearable led in 2021, but new numbers show its lead continues to grow.
Apple Watch dominates growing global smartwatch market
Counterpoint Research said Apple sold 2.5 times as many smartwatches as Samsung, its closest rival in market share. Claiming 36% of the global market, Apple sold more than its nearest six rivals, as well.
“Although the global smartwatch market saw little growth in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, it has continued to perform well since its rebound last year,” Counterpoint Associate Director Sujeong Lim said in a statement. “In particular, Apple accounted for more than a third of the total shipments last year, and it is further increasing its influence with a market share of 36% in the first quarter of this year.”
The popularity of iPhone among young people appears to be an important factor in Apple Watch‘s success.
“The high brand loyalty of iPhone users is one of the success factors of the Apple Watch,” Lim said. “This popularity appears to be higher among the younger generation, making Apple an irreplaceable market leader.”
Further growth expected
Counterpoint predicted “Apple’s market share is likely to rise further by the end of this year.” And that may be driven, in part, by a significant redesign in the Apple Watch 8.
But the organization noted Samsung’s market share is also growing.
In the first quarter of 2021, Samsung captured 7.8% of the market, far behind Apple’s 35.9%. For the first quarter of 2022, Samsung’s share grew to 10.1% as Apple’s crept up to 36.1%.
While smartwatch sales grew globally, they stayed flat in the large European market, Counterpoint noted.
“We initially expected the war between Russia and Ukraine to have minimal impact on the market in Q1, but the prolongation of the conflict and the resulting logistical constraints have begun to affect the European region,” said Lim. “The impact of the war will become more serious in Q2.”