Global sales growth of only 1.5% in 2020 Prices are rising.
Influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, global smartwatch shipments in Q4 2020 saw a slight year-on-year drop, making 2020 almost flat, according to the latest Global Smartphone Shipments Tracker report prepared by Counterpoint Research. In a year where annual growth was just 1.5%, Apple maintained its leadership position and grew its share by 6%, helping to shift the entire market towards the premium segment.
New products from Apple, i.e. Apple Watch Series 6 and SE, did very well. As many as 12.9 million units were sold, which translated into a 40% market share in Q4 2020. Samsung increased its share by 1% year on year. The rebound occurred in the second half of the year with the launch of the Galaxy 3 Watch.
There has been a significant shift in the market towards more expensive watches, and premium retailers such as Apple, Samsung, and Garmin have helped sustain the performance of high-end merchandise. Senior Counterpoint Analyst Sujeong Lim said:
The dynamics of price ranges in the fourth quarter of 2020 indicate that the average selling price is increasing. The largest segment in 2019 ($ 101-200) shrunk by 7% points, while the more premium segments of $ 300 and above grew by 8% points, which was greatly helped by Apple with a dominant market share of over 70 % in this category.
The smartwatch market is driven by three premium brands – Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. It seems that in the next two to three years, average prices will continue to rise as their flagship models continue to lead the way. On the other hand, Apple’s success with the Watch SE model is likely to encourage others such as Samsung to release similar variants that are more affordable for the mass market.
I am very curious if Apple will surprise us with a new watch. I hope that there will be more sensors analyzing our health in a well-known form.