The fourth quarter alone saw smartwatch shipments of more than 40 million units, the highest quarterly shipments ever.
The global smartwatch market shipments hardly grew in 2020 due to COVID-19, but they recorded a healthy 24% year-on-year (YoY) growth in 2021, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s recently published Global Smartwatch Model Tracker. The fourth quarter alone saw shipments of more than 40 million units, the highest quarterly shipments ever.
“The global smartwatch market’s good growth in 2021 is meaningful in itself, but it is more meaningful in that it makes us look forward to future growth. With their ability to monitor important health parameters like blood pressure, ECG and SPO2, these devices are becoming popular. Further, the attractiveness of smartwatches as independent wearable devices will increase if more of them start supporting cellular connectivity,” said Associate Director Sujeong Lim.
Global Top 9 Smartwatch Brands Shipment Share, 2021 vs 2020
Apple maintained its solid No. 1 position with a 30% market share but fell 3% points YoY due to intensified competition. However, its ASP rose 3% without the release of the SE model in 2021. As a result, Apple accounted for half of the total market revenue.
Samsung was one of the most successful smartwatch OEMs in 2021. Its quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth was more than 200% in the third quarter to record the brand’s best shipments ever. This growth retained strength until the last quarter. Moving to Wear OS through a partnership with Google has worked well for the brand in many ways.
Huawei launched high-end new models and kids’ smartwatches despite continued US sanctions, but inevitably its shipments would decline YoY. Due to the Watch GT 3 and Watch Fit Mini, which were released in the fourth quarter, Huawei’s shipments more than doubled QoQ in the quarter.
imoo did not release a new model in 2021, resulting in a slight YoY decline. However, as it entered markets outside China, such as Europe, it remained the undisputed No. 1 in the kids’ smartwatch segment.
Amazfit succeeded in expanding its position in the market in 2021, recording more than 20% YoY growth over the past two years. Its ASP also rose 11% as the proportion of the GTR and GTS, the high-end models of the brand, gradually increased.
Garmin performed better than expected in 2021. Garmin had initially focused on introducing high-priced smartwatches for special categories like aviation and divers. But it is gradually shifting focus to bringing attractive consumer products from price and design perspective. As a result, it showed 35% YoY growth and took sixth place by raising its global ranking by one place.
Fitbit showed weak performance in 2021. Since the launch of the Sense and Versa 3 models in the third quarter of 2020, there has been no launch of new models, which seems to be due to strategy changes and reorganization due to the merger with Google. Therefore, it showed a YoY decrease of more than 15% in 2021. But it is expected to rebound with the release of the Versa 4 in the second half of 2022.
Xiaomi showed strong performance with its Mi Watch Lite in the first half of 2021 and released the Redmi Watch 2 series in Q4 2021. In this series, it launched the ‘Lite’ variant to broaden users’ choices and we expect it to contribute to Xiaomi’s market share gain.
Noise, the one local king in India’s smartwatch market, was the fastest-growing brand among the global top nine brands. Leading the growth of the Indian smartwatch market, Noise was India’s No. 1 brand in 2021 and 2020.
Smartwatch Shipment Proportion by Region, 2021 vs 2020
One of the driving forces behind the growth of the global smartwatch market in 2021 was the expansion of the Indian market. The Indian smartwatch market accounted for only 3% of the global market in 2020, but it grew four times in 2021 to raise its global market share to close to 10%.
Senior Research Analyst Anshika Jain said, “Noise is the No.1 Indian smartwatch brand and leads the growth of the local market. It captured the top position in 2021 due to its diverse product portfolio targeting the budget and mid segments, as well as strong partnerships with e-commerce players, financial institutions and celebrities. Noise also focused on community building and slightly shifted its price base towards the lower side to make its smartwatches accessible to a larger group of people, a strategy that proved to be effective. All this resulted in Noise ranking third in terms of shipments after Apple and Samsung in the APAC region except China in 2021.”