Apple Watch Dominates Premium Market with Record-Breaking Third-Quarter Performance, Outpacing Samsung

The global smartwatch market saw a 9% increase in shipments during the third quarter of the year, according to a report by Counterpoint Research. Key drivers of this growth were strong performances in India and a significant rebound by Huawei in China.

In the premium smartwatch market, also known as High-level Operating System (HLOS) smartwatches, Apple Watch led the way with a 7% increase in shipments, capturing 45% of the market share. This marked its best third quarter ever. Apple’s budget-friendly Apple Watch SE also saw strong performance, helping the company to widen its lead over second-place Samsung.

Samsung, on the other hand, saw its market share decline to 18% from 24% in the same quarter last year. Despite the decline, its latest models, the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, only saw a 3% decrease in shipments.

Huawei also experienced a significant rebound, capturing 14% of the global premium smartwatch market. This was a substantial increase from its less than 7% market share in the same quarter last year. The company’s strong performance was attributed to a 56% year-over-year gain in overall smartwatch deliveries and a 122% gain in shipments of its premium HLOS timepieces.

The introduction of the Mate 60 Pro series, powered by Huawei’s own 7nm Kirin 9000s 5G chips, also contributed to the company’s success. The announcement of these phones generated a wave of nationalism in China, driving strong demand and bundling the phones with the watches by some retailers and e-commerce platforms.

Counterpoint Research Analyst Woojin Son highlighted the significant growth in the smartwatch market, especially amid a global economic slowdown. The market has recorded year-over-year growth for two consecutive quarters in both the premium and budget segments.

Overall, the smartwatch market has shown resilience and growth, presenting opportunities for both established players and newcomers to capture a larger share of the market.

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