Apple Watch Dominated Global Smartwatch Market in Q4 2020: Counterpoint

A new report says the Apple Watch dominated the smartphone market last year.

According to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Smartphone Shipments Tracker, global smartwatch shipments dipped slightly in the fourth quarter due to a fresh wave of Covid-19 outbreaks, resulting in a nearly flat full year. Still, there were a couple of bright spots, including Apple’s mid-range Apple Watch SE which could prompt others to put a bigger emphasis on non-flagship smartwatches moving forward.

The number show that Apple further solidified its position as the top smartwatch manufacturer during the holiday quarter. Compared to the same period a year earlier, Apple managed to grow its market share by six percent:

Samsung, on the other hand, increased its share by one percent while other major players like Huawei and Fitbit either lost market share or experienced no growth compared to Q4 2019.

“The Apple Watch Series 6 and SE did well, shipping 12.9 million units and accounting for 40% market share in Q4 2020,” reads the report. “Samsung increased its share by 1%pt YoY, rebounding in the latter half of the year with the launch of its Galaxy 3 Watch.”

Notably, Counterpoint says there has been a significant shift to more expensive smartwatches.

“Price band dynamics during Q4 2020 indicate ASPs (average selling prices) are on the rise,” reads the report. “2019’s biggest segment ($101-$200) shrank by 7% pts, while the more premium $300-plus segments grew by 8% pts, helped tremendously by Apple, which enjoyed a dominant market share of over 70% in this category.”

“The smartwatch market is being driven by three premium brands – Apple, Samsung and Huawei,” the report continues. “We believe the ASPs will continue to rise over the next two to three years as these companies’ flagship models continue to lead. On the other hand, Apple’s success with its Watch SE model will likely spur others like Samsung to release similar variants, moving closer to the mass market. Over a three to four years timeframe, we see budget players like OPPO and realme gaining a significant share, intensifying overall competition and bringing down the prices.”

All the data is available over at Counterpoint Research.

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