“Basic” smartwatches compete with Apple and Samsung smartwatches

The Apple Watch is not about to lose its crown. According the last report from the analysis firm Counterpoint Research, the Apple connected watch still dominates the connected watch market with more than 50% share, well ahead of Samsung (22%).

Samsung far behind Apple

“Apple saw 48% year-over-year growth on strong Watch Series 8 sales […] The new watch accounted for approximately 56% of global deliveries”, says Counterpoint. Despite Samsung’s commendable efforts with the Galaxy Watch 5, the South Korean manufacturer is struggling to make progress with “shipments that only increased by 6% compared to the previous year”particularly due to a lack of popularity in India, which has become, according to Counterpoint, the largest market for smartwatches in the world.

But it’s not just for Apple and Samsung in this market. Indeed, the Counterpoint report establishes a difference between high-end connected watches such as Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch, and more basic ones that run on a light OS, on which it is impossible to install third-party apps, much like Withings watches. While sales of high-end smartwatches soared 23% year-over-year, entry-level models doubled in sales, now accounting for 35% of the overall market.

Sold by pallets

“This remarkable increase in basic smartwatch shipments shows us that the market is being pulled towards more accessible segments”, explains Woojin Son, an analyst at Counterpoint. Less flashy than high-end watches, this segment is populated by much lesser-known names, such as Fire-Boltt, Noise and Boat. Even Huawei and Xiaomi have a combined market share of less than 10%.

All sectors combined, India therefore represents 30% of the world market with growth of 171% from one year to the next. By comparison, the North American market grew by only a small 21 percent in 2022. “The main factor behind this record quarter was the festive season in India. Indian brands, which are enriching their product lines with affordable prices and emphasizing local manufacturing, have also contributed to this growth”says a Counterpoint analyst.

Like what the democratization of smartwatches will probably not come from where we expected.

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