According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartwatch shipments grew 1 percent annually to hit a record 8.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016. Apple Watch drove growth and dominated with 63 percent global smartwatch marketshare, while Samsung maintained second position.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement, “Global smartwatch shipments grew 1 percent annually from 8.1 million units in Q4 2015 to 8.2 million in Q4 2016. The fourth quarter marked a return to growth for the smartwatch industry after two consecutive quarters of declining volumes. Smartwatch growth is recovering slightly due to new product launches from giant Apple and stronger seasonal demand in major developed markets like the US and UK. Global smartwatch shipments grew 1 percent annually from 20.8 million in full-year 2015 to a record 21.1 million in 2016.”

Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “We estimate Apple shipped a record 5.2 million smartwatches worldwide and captured a dominant 63 percent marketshare in Q4 2016, rising a steady 2 percent annually from 5.1 million units in Q4 2015. Demand for Apple’s new Watch Series 2 as a holiday-season gift in Western markets was surprisingly strong and it enabled Apple to clear a large backlog of smartwatch inventory during the quarter.”

Apple Watch Series 2 with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters

Apple Watch Series 2 with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters

 
Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “We estimate Samsung shipped 0.8 million smartwatches worldwide in Q4 2016, dipping 38 percent annually from 1.3 million units in Q4 2015. Samsung introduced its new flagship Gear S3 model relatively late in the quarter and this impacted negatively its overall smartwatch performance. Combined together, Apple and Samsung today account for an impressive 3 in 4 of all smartwatches shipped globally and they are a long way ahead of trailing rivals such as Garmin, Fitbit and Huawei.”

Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The smartwatch industry is showing tentative signs of recovery this year, but it is not fully out of the woods just yet and there remain several barriers to growth that must be addressed. Smartwatch vendors like Samsung need to launch more exciting or cheaper models, Apple must engage closer with mobile operators to stock or subsidize its popular Watch portfolio, while component makers need to develop more accurate sensors for health and fitness tracking that consumers will trust and use more.”

Global Smartwatch Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2016
Strategy Analytics: Global Smartwatch Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2016

The full report, Global Smartwatch Vendor Market Share by Region: Q4 2016, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/hay4qsy.

Source: Strategy Analytics

MacDailyNews Take: Dominance.