A new report from Canalys reveals some of the trends in the growth of the global smartwatch market. Worldwide, smartwatch shipments grew 12% YoY in Q1 of this year despite the spread of COVID-19 disrupting many aspects of manufacturing, logistics, and consumerism.
Apple ranks first in market share, with 5.2 million shipments of various Apple Watch models. It did see 13% fewer shipments during the same people last year. Huawei ranks second with 2.1 million units shipped with 113% of growth YoY. Samsung ranks third with 1.8 million units shipped compared to its 1.2 million in Q1 2019. Garmin and Fitbit rank fourth and fifth, respectively. Garmin grew 24% YoY while Fitbit fell 21% YoY.
During the first quarter, North America accounted for less than one-third of smartwatch shipments for the first time. Demand for the Apple Watch has steadily grown in overseas markets while its sales have slowed in the US and Europe. Canalys attributes this to North America’s focus on the AirPods as this past holiday season’s must-have Apple accessory. Its growth outside of North American can be attributed to carrier promotions in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Meanwhile, Huawei offered a promotion with the Huawei P40 in China.
China saw the most growth in smartwatch shipments by 66%. Cellular-enabled smartwatches from Apple and Xiaomi made up most of China’s connected smartwatches and this is attributed in part to China’s growth in sales. Looking towards the rest of 2020, China will continue to grow in smartwatch sales with local brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Oppo.