Apple Watch Drove Growth in the Smartwatch Market in Q4 2016

Tyrone Stewart

Apple Watch WatchOS3Though no official sales figures have been announced for Apple Watch, according to Strategy Analytics, Apple’s wearables drove a 1.2 per cent growth in global smartwatch shipments in Q4.

The market hit a record 8.2m units for the fourth quarter of 2016, with Apple accounting for 63.4 per cent, or 5.2m units, of the global smartwatch market share – while Samsung sat in a distant second place with only 9.8 per cent of the market.

Across the whole of 2016, Apple had a 55 per cent market share versus Samsung’s 11.4 per cent.

“Global smartwatch shipments grew one per cent annually from 8.1m units in Q4 2015 to 8.2m in Q4 2016,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. “The fourth quarter marked a return to growth for the smartwatch industry after two consecutive quarters of declining volumes. Smartwatch growth is recovering slightly due to new product launches from giant Apple and stronger seasonal demand in major developed markets like the US and UK. Global smartwatch shipments grew one per cent annually from 20.8m in full-year 2015 to a record 21.1m in 2016.”

Cliff Raskind, director at Strategy Analytics, added: “We estimate Apple shipped a record 5.2m smartwatches worldwide and captured a dominant 63 per cent market share in Q4 2016, rising a steady two per cent annually from 5.1m units in Q4 2015. Demand for Apple’s new Watch Series 2 as a holiday-season gift in Western markets was surprisingly strong and it enabled Apple to clear a large backlog of smartwatch inventory during the quarter.”

These smartwatch estimates come after Strategy Analytics also reported that Apple had reclaimed top spot in the global smartphone shipments game – with its iPhone representing 18 per cent, or 78.3m smartphones, of the global smartphone market share in Q4 2016. However, Apple recently lost its place at the top of the pile to Oppa in China.