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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-Top-6-Smartwatch-OEMs-Q3-2021.jpg

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.

Smartwatch-Shipment-Share-by-OS-Q3-2021.jpg

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.

Article Link: Samsung Narrowing Gap With Apple Watch as Apple's Shipments Fall
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,503
11,120
NC
Apple’s “problem” is two-fold

1. Their watches are so good, you can keep them for many years and be quite happy with them. Only reason to upgrade involves compelling must have new features.

2. The series 7 does not have compelling must have new features…

This is true in terms of upgrading a previous Apple Watch to a newer Apple Watch. "I already have a 4, 5, or 6... so why should I buy an Apple Watch 7 ?"

But not everyone with an iPhone has an Apple Watch yet.

There are a billion iPhones out in the world... but only 100 million Apple Watches.

So only 1 in 10 iPhone users have an Apple Watch. There is still some growth opportunity. A lot actually.

:)
 

allpar

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2002
351
108
FWIW... I think there really needs to be something like the Watch SE but with always-on display. To get the always on display you have to spend $400. That's more than most people are willing to lay out. Yet after having a Watch 3, which I did love, I would not get another watch without always-on because they really don't activate every time you want them to.

There is a big gap in Apple's watch lineup - something affordable yet highly functional as a watch.

That said, I suspect most of the watches that aren't made by Apple are e-waste.
 

jz0309

macrumors 603
Sep 25, 2018
6,256
16,951
SoCal
it makes sense that Samsung increases share as there are way more Androids out there vs iPhones.
Apple still needs to convince a lot of iPhone users of the benefits of AW, pricing is one way (which is why they keep the 3) but they also need to decrease the entry level pricing if they want to continue the success imho.
 
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azentropy

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2002
3,460
3,785
Surprise
FWIW... I think there really needs to be something like the Watch SE but with always-on display. To get the always on display you have to spend $400. That's more than most people are willing to lay out. Yet after having a Watch 3, which I did love, I would not get another watch without always-on because they really don't activate every time you want them to.

There is a big gap in Apple's watch lineup - something affordable yet highly functional as a watch.

That said, I suspect most of the watches that aren't made by Apple are e-waste.
They should have made the SE the entry and kept the 5 in the SE slot. Still selling the 3 is nuts...
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
Feb 23, 2009
4,195
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Samsung just had a big release people have been highly anticipating. Reviews seem to indicate it is not living up to the hype. Meanwhile Apple has had a hard time getting their new watch out the door. I think next quarter it will be different.
It is still a huge market gain for Samsung.

And the watches are becoming more fully-featured, which reduces Apple's advantage. There is so much a smartwatch can do, and it is not a smartphone or a computer. The Galaxy Watch 4 measures body fat, for instance, something that the Apple Watch 7 cannot do.

There is also the fact that, as smartwatches become more popular, they will appeal to a wider audience. And price matters to a broader part of the population than it does to enthusiasts. Apple Watch 7 starts at $399 in the U.S. and the Galaxy Watch 4 starts at $249. Apple may have cheaper options, but even the 4-year old Series 3 costs $199. Samsung is way cheaper, and that appeals to more consumers. Price has a huge role in determining market share (otherwise, Patek Phillipe would have a large portion of the watch market).
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68030
FWIW... I think there really needs to be something like the Watch SE but with always-on display. To get the always on display you have to spend $400. That's more than most people are willing to lay out. Yet after having a Watch 3, which I did love, I would not get another watch without always-on because they really don't activate every timnoe you want them to.

There is a big gap in Apple's watch lineup - something affordable yet highly functional as a watch.

That said, I suspect most of the watches that aren't made by Apple are e-waste.
I haven’t used the AOD on my series 5 since just after I bought it. Part of the reason is the extended battery life you get by not having the screen be always-on, but the other issue is there ZERO reason to have the screen show anything when you’re wearing long-sleeve shirt/sweater/jacket, as you can tell with the attached photo of my series 5.
 

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allpar

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2002
351
108
Apple may have cheaper options, but even the 4-year old Series 3 costs $199. Samsung is way cheaper, and that appeals to more consumers. Price has a huge role in determining market share (otherwise, Patek Phillipe would have a large portion of the watch market).

And it's not always on... as azentropy said, the 5 would have been better to keep around - or an SE v2 (I hate when they do that) that would be the SE battery and always-on, but not the expensive sensors. Admittedly that would require engineering and tooling, but I figure a really cool Apple watch might generate some phone sales, and phone sales might generate laptop sales.
 
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IIGS User

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2019
838
2,263
I think a stronger metric is found in the existing user base and tie to the "ecosystem".

Others have made some valid points. Apple's watches are of excellent quality. I've bapped my 4 around more times than I would like to admit, and with a minimally protective case and band it looks brand new. The battery capacity is still at 89% and I do wear the watch every day.


Sales figures fluctuate, and aren't a valid yardstick of other tangibles such as system integration, brand loyalty, quality, ease of use, and feature set.

I believe the Apple watch IS the best product in this segment, which is why it's difficult to give people compelling reasons to upgrade. Once the 4 was released, every change after has been "meh, I can live without that" things and unless you don't all ready have one, no reason to get another.

The things that tie the watch to the iPhone and to the software in general are part of the product package. I can take an ECG (I have a heart condition) on my watch and send it to my cardiologist on my phone via the hospital's app, which pulls the info from the Health app.

Overall, I'm very happy with the cost to benefit ration of my Apple watch. I've had it since 2018 and it's been rock solid. Add apple pay, and I would more likely go back to the house for my watch than my wallet if I forgot one and not the other.
 

allpar

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2002
351
108
I haven’t used the AOD on my series 5 since just after I bought it. Part of the reason is the extended battery life you get by not having the screen be always-on, but the other issue is there ZERO reason to have the screen show anything when you’re wearing long-sleeve shirt/sweater/jacket, as you can tell with the attached photo of my series 5.

I don't mind recharging at night. I do wear long sleeve shirts, sweaters, and jackets. In my case they stop at the watch.
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
Feb 23, 2009
4,195
1,320
Brazil
FWIW... I think there really needs to be something like the Watch SE but with always-on display. To get the always on display you have to spend $400. That's more than most people are willing to lay out. Yet after having a Watch 3, which I did love, I would not get another watch without always-on because they really don't activate every time you want them to.

There is a big gap in Apple's watch lineup - something affordable yet highly functional as a watch.

That said, I suspect most of the watches that aren't made by Apple are e-waste.
Definitely.

I do not have a smartwatch and I never felt the need to. I can do pretty much everything with my smartphone, and better than with a smartwatch.

If a smartwatch were cheaper, perhaps I would have already bought one. But I am not spending $800 (yes, it costs $800 in Brazil) to buy an Apple Watch 7 to have... exactly what?! It is still uncertain for me what kind of benefit an Apple Watch would bring me in addition to what I already have with my smartphone.

Now I am considering buying a Galaxy Watch 4. It is not only way cheaper than the Apple Watch ($270 in Brazil), but it also has a BIA function to measure body fat, which is a feature I find very helpful.
 
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roar08

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2008
396
915
As we've seen in years past, specifically when comparing Apple and Samsung, shipments do not equal sales. Samsung was always touting huge shipment numbers, but boots-on-the-ground analysts were reporting protracted product shelf life. Who knows if that's what's happening here, but what really matters is how much of what you ship you actually sell.

That said, I also agree the Series 7 wasn't compelling over the Series 6. I upgrade every year and skipped the 7. And that's totally fine w/ me I don't expect Apple to change the world every product cycle. But, it might point to a *transient* down-click in watch sales.
 

allpar

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2002
351
108
Definitely.

I do not have a smartwatch and I never felt the need to. I can do pretty much everything with my smartphone, and better than with a smartwatch.

If a smartwatch were cheaper, perhaps I would have already bought one. But I am not spending $800 (yes, it costs $800 in Brazil) to buy an Apple Watch 7 to have... exactly what?! It is still uncertain for me what kind of benefit an Apple Watch would bring me in addition to what I already have with my smartphone.

Now I am considering buying a Galaxy Watch 4. It is not only way cheaper than the Apple Watch ($270 in Brazil), but it also has a BIA function to measure body fat, which is a feature I find very helpful.

Apple Watch features I find handy:
1) Single lead cardiogram
2) Heart rate sensor
3) Walkie-talkie
4) Answer phone calls from your wrist
5) Find your phone easily ;)
6) Tells the time, okay, a $12 watch does that
7) Large print date and day (that's a huge thing for me personally)
8) Turn by turn navigation when driving or walking
9) Taps my wrist when it needs attention (I tend not to keep my phone in my pocket)
10) Pay at the register or subway without taking my phone out
11) Pay at the register or subway when I forgot my phone (and wallet)
12) Timers - phone's clunky for that

Body fat estimations tend to be grossly wrong on scales and such, I doubt Samsung has figured out how to do it accurately from your wrist.
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68030
I don't mind recharging at night. I do wear long sleeve shirts, sweaters, and jackets. In my case they stop at the watch.
Even with my battery below 90% health, I still get around 30 hours of use per charge. When I used AOD when I first got the Watch, so with a brand new battery, I could just get through a day and needed to re-charge every night. The bump is battery life is significant enough with AOD turned off, where you just never have to question whether you’ll get through even a long day.
 
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mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
10,067
10,880
They all look the same from Apple Watch 1 to 7. Same reason people don't buy the same clothe every year.

On the other hand, Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic look nicer but does one really need a redundant phone accessory?
 
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AirunJae

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2008
414
819
Indianapolis, IN
Good for Samsung, seems like a decent watch. But I'd want Google Assistant out of the gate, Bixby is not ideal. Every fall for the past couple of years I look at see if there's an Android equivalent to the Apple Watch and keep getting disappointed. Maybe they'll get closer in the next year or two with Google and Samsung working more closely together, although I kinda feel bad for Fossil, which has kept plugging away at it.

On the Apple Watch, my only real complaint is the significant increase in cost for the stainless steel/sapphire display model. For Samsung, the bump in price to go stainless is $100 (which still costs around the same as the standard aluminum AW), and you can get a sapphire display in watches that go for about what the Series 3 (shameful they kept that around) goes for now. I hope they bring the cost differential down slightly at some point, although I won't hold my breath.
 
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