Apple Watch dominates with 63% of worldwide smartwatch market

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:

Source: Strategy Analytics

MacDailyNews Take: Dominance.


  1. This is what I don’t understand. AppleWatch has been called a huge failure. Tim Cook’s folly. Am I right? Apple has sold a pretty fair number of AppleWatches at a relatively high price and they have 63% global market share. That’s deemed to be a failed product? Apple definitely hasn’t lost money from selling AppleWatches. If AppleWatch is a failure then all smartwatches should be considered failed products. Yet AppleWatch seems to be singled-out as being the only failed smartwatch. That makes no sense.

    On the other hand, Amazon’s Echo has been called a major success. Amazon has not sold nearly as many Echo devices as Apple has sold AppleWatches. Echo and Echo Dots are far less expensive than any AppleWatch. I think Apple has sold more AppleWatches in the last quarter than Amazon has sold Echos for the entire year of 2016.

    There has to be a logical explanation why AppleWatch is considered a failure but the Echo is considered a success. There really seems to be some bias against Apple and I don’t understand why there are all these crooked reports. It’s really difficult to choose what’s a success and failure but if the Echo is a successful product then I think AppleWatch should also be considered successful due to unit numbers and revenue received from that product. Based on what metric is the AppleWatch actually a failed product? Is it because Apple can’t sell as many AppleWatches as iPhones? I really don’t get it.

    1. I guess the onus is on Apple to make a product that brings a new technology to the mass market, not only selling loads but showing other how to do it. Like they did with iPod, and then of course, iPhone. Amazons Echo might not have sold as many units as Apple Watch, but I guess some people think it’s showing other manufacturers how to do it. Weirdly even my wife wants one, even though she never uses Siri.

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