Apple Watch Continues to Lead Smartwatch Sales despite Stiff Competition from Samsung

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 22 Nov 2021

Counterpoint Research’s new report published today shows that the total smartwatch shipments in the third quarter of 2021 were up by 16 percent compared to last year’s third quarter. Apple retained the top spot in terms of the number of units shipped, while Samsung achieved its highest quarterly shipments, coming in second place.

Apple’s smartwatch market share fell by 10 percent year on year (YoY) as the Apple Watch Series 7 launch was delayed to the fourth quarter. Despite this, the brand shipped the most smartwatches in Q3 2021, as it did in the previous quarter.

We believe it is likely the Apple Watch Series 7’s success will be reflected in the report for the fourth quarter since the wearable offers a notably superior experience compared to other smartwatches. This is a big reason why Apple commands a premium and the Apple Watch sells strongly despite stiff competition from cheaper and similarly-priced wearables from Android OEMs.

Counterpoint Research Apple Watch Q3 2021

Counterpoint Research’s report shows that Samsung reclaimed second place on the list from Huawei and narrowed the gap with Apple’s sale volume in Q3 2021. This can be attributed to the Galaxy Watch 4 series launch that marks the company’s shift to using Android-based Wear OS from its Tizen operating system. Additionally, the new body composition feature and choice of two variants (basic and classic) were also well received by consumers.

The research firm’s senior analyst Sujeong Lim said, “Samsung performed better than expected in the third quarter. Although the Galaxy Watch 4 series shipments were much higher than expected, more than 60% of the total shipments were sold in North America and Europe, where the share of mid-to-high price range models is high. To further increase its market share, Samsung is expected to launch affordable models within 2-3 years to target the fast-growing Asian market. One-third of smartwatches sold in Q3 2021 were priced under $100.”

The stellar performance of Indian smartwatch makers is also worth a mention. Noise and boAt ranked first and second, respectively, in the Indian smartwatch market. Both the brands more than doubled their volume of products sold from the previous quarter. Products from these manufacturers are aimed squarely at the budget and mid-tier price segments, so they run LiteOS and don’t offer as many features and functions as the Apple Watch does.

[Via Counterpoint Research]