Apple Cedes 10% of Smartwatch Market Share to Samsung in Q3 2021: Counterpoint

Apple has ceding 10 percent of its market share in the wearables market to Samsung.

According to a new analytical report from Counterpoint Research published this morning, global smartwatch shipments in the third quarter of this year increased 16 percent compared to the same period last year, continuing their double-digit growth following the previous quarter.

Apple is still the number one wearable maker, with its WatchOS accounting for 22 percent of shipments in the third quarter of 2021. But Wear OS is gaining, with 17 percent of shipments in the same time period; a year ago, Wear OS only accounted for 3 percent of shipments. Amazfit OS, Fitbit OS (also owned by Google), and Lite OS make up most of the remaining non-negligible share.

“Samsung performed better than expected in the third quarter,” Counterpoint Research senior analyst Sujeong Lim said. “Galaxy Watch 4 series shipments were much higher than expected.” Samsung, notably, switched from Tizen to Google’s Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 4.

Apple’s lost software market share is reflected by the company’s poorer Apple Watch sales figures. While Samsung increased its global smartwatch market share year-on-year from Q3 2022, Apple’s share dropped by a significant 10 percent YoY. This, along with Huawei losing more ground, allowed Samsung to strengthen its hold over the global smartwatch market and rank 2nd by the end of the third quarter.

However, the year is not over, and Samsung could be facing stronger opposition in Q4. The report notes that the Apple Watch Series 7 got delayed until Q4, which meant that the latest wearables didn’t count toward the company’s market share in Q3. Hence, Q4 could have a different outcome.

The holiday shopping season is difficult to predict, especially during a global semiconductor shortage, so time will tell if Samsung and Wear OS will be able to keep their momentum.

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