While Apple maintained its dominant share of smartwatch shipments in the third quarter of 2021, the company's shipments fell as Samsung made significant gains, according to Counterpoint Research.
Global smartwatch shipments in the third quarter of this year increased by 16 percent overall compared to the same time in 2020, but Apple Watch shipments declined by 10 percent. The drop may be explained by the Apple Watch Series 7 shipping later than usual due to delays, pushing sales of the latest model into the fourth quarter. Customers may also have been reluctant to buy the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 in the third quarter with the expectation of new models arriving soon, suppressing Apple's shipments further.
Meanwhile, Samsung saw its highest number of quarterly smartwatch shipments to date, reclaiming its position as the second biggest smartwatch brand from Huawei. Counterpoint credits the launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 series, Wear OS's expanding app ecosystem, a broader range of models, and well-received features for the company's significantly increased shipments.
Wear OS also made comparatively large gains in terms of operating system market share. watchOS's presence continues to decline with a share of just 22 percent, sustaining a progressive decline since a peak market share of 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Data for the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, showing shipments of the Apple Watch Series 7, are likely to give a more accurate presentation of Samsung's growth in the smartwatch market.
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