Apple Watch leads as big tech strives for COVID-19 health
The latest Counterpoint Research data tells us that the Apple Watch market is growing with the device accounting for 51.4% of the market, up from 43.2% in 2019.
Apple continues to lead
The comparison is a little flimsy, I guess, as the data refers to share by revenue, but with both the more affordable Series 3 and current generation watches available it’s likely leading in both revenue and sales – though overall shipments numbers remained flat.
Senior Analyst Sujeong Lim said: “Apple continued to dominate the smartwatch market both in volume and value. Apple captured a record half of the market in terms of revenue due to strong demand for the Apple Watch S5 models. In terms of shipment volumes, Apple Watch grew 22% globally with Europe and North America being the fastest growing markets in the first half of 2020.”
What about the pandemic?
Senior Analyst Sujeong Lim said:
“The smartwatch space remains a popular consumer device segment, compared to the downturn seen in smartphone demand and many other segments in the first six months of 2020 due to the devastation caused by COVID-19.”
“Close to 42 million smartwatches were shipped in the first half of 2020 as wearables continue to see greater demand with consumers becoming more health conscious. India (+57% YoY), Europe (+9% YoY) and the US (+5% YoY).”
That’s all good, but it’s also interesting that the analyst sees:
“The most affected regions of COVID-19, saw a healthy growth in smartwatch shipments which offset the decline in other markets.”
In other words, people wanted help with their health. Huawei, Garmin and a smattering of other smartwatch makers also saw gains, while Chinese vendors are beginning to make an impression there and in India and the APAC region.
Other details of interest include:
- Cellular-capable smartwatches now account for one in four smartwatches sold.
- Heart rate monitoring is in around 60% of smartwatches.
- Square form-watches account for almost two-thirds of the smartwatches globally (though that’s mainly Apple).
“The massive leaps in battery life and processing power are helping to better track overall health as continual heartrate, sleep and other monitoring can be done instead of the device sitting on a charger. The leaps in solar charging technology will also help OEMs concentrate on better monitoring. We expect to continue to see a focus on fitness and wellness applications.”
The take away?
My thinking is that what we have here is some evidence that people are adapting to use of wearables as health trackers, particularly as they strive to remain relatively fit during lockdown. Victory will go to the first company to bring predictive health (particularly around COVID-19) features to their devices. I imagine Apple has a head start.