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No surprise as the Apple Watch remained the world's top selling smartwatch during Q4 2020

The latest data from Counterpoint Research (via AppleInsider) really shows how one company is dominating the smartwatch industry. And even though Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking, it is not the company we have in mind (although it did launch its first timepiece in 1854). Actually, you don’t need to be a genius to figure out the answer. All you need to do is get a glimpse at the wrists of the people around you and you’ll see that many are wearing the Apple Watch.

As expected, Apple dominated the global smartwatch market during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Counterpoint says that the Apple Watch accounted for 40% of all smartwatch sales during the fourth quarter of 2020; the closest rival was Samsung with just 10% of the market during the period from October through December 2020. During the previous year’s fourth quarter, Apple owned 34% of the smartwatch market share while Samsung had 9%. Overall sales during the quarter were slightly lower on a year-over-year basis because of the coronavirus. Counterpoint said that smartwatches turned in “an almost flat 2020” compared to the preceding year.


The researcher said that the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE together accounted for the delivery of 12.9 million units in the quarter. Samsung saw its share rise 1% on an annual basis thanks to the release of the Galaxy Watch 3 during the second half of 2020. After Apple’s 40% share of the smartwatch market during Q4 2020, and Samsung’s 10%, Huawei was third during the fourth quarter with an 8% slice of the smartwatch pie. Fitbit was next with a 7% share followed by BBK; the latter includes brands such as Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Realme and iQOO. It accounted for 6% of smartwatch production during the Q4 of 2020. The “others” category made 31% of the smartwatches sold during the fourth quarter.

Apple continues adding health related features to the Apple Watch. In Series 6 it added a blood oxygen sensor that determines whether you are sending enough oxygen throughout your body. This tool, known as a  pulse oximeter, can also give you a warning in advance whether you do have COVID-19. The Series 7 Apple Watch was originally thought to include a sensor that would monitor the user’s blood glucose level. With that reading, diabetics are able to determine how much insulin they need to inject themselves with before they sit down to eat. However, the latest word from Apple is that this feature will not be ready in time for this year’s Apple Watch. That is too bad because offering such a feature on the Apple Watch could save diabetics a ton of money and pain. Apple’s test would be non-invasive so there would be no need for the user to prick himself with a sharp needle and draw blood. There also would be no need to continuously buy the disposable strips used to test with.

Counterpoint analyst Sujeong Lim says that Apple’s increasing market share despite its rather hefty price means that smartwatches with higher Average Selling Prices are benefiting from higher demand. Lim says, “The smartwatch market is being driven by three premium brands – Apple, Samsung and Huawei,” she said. “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.”

The Apple Watch SE is a cheaper version of the Apple Watch that eliminates some of the health features and the new always-on-display. It is priced $120 cheaper than the Apple Watch Series 6 and is a generation behind when it comes to chips. However, it is a serviceable device that will surely be the first step for many on that road titled “the Apple ecosystem.”

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