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Apple Continues To Dominate The Smartwatch Market

Cellular connectivity enables watches to work independently of smartphones - a capability that we believe will drive the market

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Apple Watch
Apple watch series 4.

Although Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market, its share in the global shipments of smartwatches went down to 30 per cent in the third quarter of 2018, from 35 per cent in the same quarter last year, according to a new report from Counterpoint Research.

Global smartwatch shipments grew 53 per cent year-over-year in the third quarter of this year with strong performance from Fitbit, kids watch brands such as Imoo and start-ups such as Amazfit, showed the latest findings from Counterpoint’s “Global Smartwatch Tracker”.

Fitbit’s share in the smartwatch shipments market went up to 16 per cent in Q3 of this year, from six per cent in the same quarter last year, registering a year-over-year growth of 348 per cent in terms of shipments, the report said.

“Fitbit continues to shift its focus from predominantly SmartBand/trackers to smartwatches and has now evolved as the next best player to Apple in terms of experience and scale,” Counterpoint Research Analyst Satyajit Sinha said in a statement.

“The launch of the Versa smartwatch was the turning point for Fitbit’s smartwatch segment growth. The health/fitness factor is playing a key role in driving consumer decision making for the adoption of smartwatches and Fitbit has entirely focused on this core use case,” Sinha said.

When it comes to Apple, the introduction of the Series 4 this autumn was the biggest update from a design and features standpoint, the report said.

Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Apple also leads as global tablet market decline 8.6% in Q3: IDC.
Flickr Commons

“Apple’s Series 3 saw an uptick later in the quarter with discounted pricing, while Apple’s Series 1 continued to be the single biggest selling SKU contributing to almost half of all Apple Watch shipments. This could change in holiday season quarter as our channel checks showed pent-up demand for the Series 4,” Counterpoint Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack, noted.

The US consumers find the LTE communications capability in the Apple Watch the most desirable feature, the report said.

Cellular connectivity enables watches to work independently of smartphones – a capability that we believe will drive the market.

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“By end of this year, cellular-capable watches will likely contribute to 20 per cent of global smartwatch shipments. This will be a challenge for Fitbit to solve and range LTE SKUs (stock keeping units) in their portfolio,” Sinha said.

“The children’s or kids’ smartwatch segment is growing rapidly, especially in Asia,” Counterpoint’s Senior Analyst, Hanish Bhatia, added. (IANS)

Next Story

Apple to Release 5G-equipped iPhone in 2020

In addition to Kuo’s predictions, the iPhone maker is also working on improving the cameras on its 2019 phone line-up

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Apple, women
The Apple logo is shown outside the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

Apple is expected to release a 5G-equipped iPhone in 2020 powered by chipsets from Qualcomm and Samsung that would take the total iPhone shipments to 195-200 million units in two years, according to Apple expert and predictor Ming-Chi Kuo.

Earlier in April, Apple and Qualcomm settled their long-drawn legal war over patents and licensing at an undisclosed amount and Apple agreed to buy chips from Qualcomm again as part of the settlement, CNBC reported on Monday.

“We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power,” the report quoted the TF International Securities analyst Kuo as saying.

According to him, the introduction of a 5G-enabled iPhone could create a wave of upgrades and purchases, especially for high-end models.

So far, 2015 has been Apple’s best year in terms of iPhone shipments when the company sold around 231 million smartphones. After facing a drop in sales, the company, in 2018, said it sold over 217 million iPhones.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

“We are positive on the high-end iPhone models’ replacement demand in the second half of 2020 thanks to the 5G iPhone. We expect the total iPhone shipment will respectively reach 188-192 million and 195-200 million units in 2019 and 2020,” Kuo said.

Apple is also working on redesigning the printed circuit boards to be included in 2019 iPhone models using a new kind of material to clear out space for a bigger battery, he added.

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In addition to Kuo’s predictions, the iPhone maker is also working on improving the cameras on its 2019 phone line-up.

While the front camera would be upgraded from 7MP to 12MP, the triple-camera set-up would be implemented in the upcoming 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED iPhones, along with a new super-wide 12MP lens. (IANS)