Global smartwatch shipments recorded a marginal increase of 1.5 per cent in 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Smartphone Shipments Tracker.

Shipments witnessed a slight YoY decrease in Q4 2020 to book an almost flat 2020, as per the report.

Apple gained the highest market share in smartwatch shipments overall. In Q4 2020, it had a 40 per cent market share followed by Samsung at 10 per cent. Samsung was followed by Huawei (8 per cent) and Fitbit (7 per cent).

“The Apple Watch Series 6 and SE did well, shipping 12.9 million units and accounting for 40 per cent market share in Q4 2020. Samsung increased its share by 1 per cent pt YoY, rebounding in the latter half of the year with the launch of its Galaxy 3 Watch,” as per an official release.

Huawei also helped drive the growth of the overall smartwatch market as its shipments increased 26 per cent YoY despite US sanctions. Its spinoff brand HONOR also did well, with shipments doubling from 2019, as per the report.

Apart from this, other Chinese brands such as Amazfit and Xiaomi also performed well, enjoying double-digit growth.

“There has been a significant market shift to more expensive watches, with premium vendors like Apple, Samsung and Garmin helping to shore up the high end,” as per the report.

Counterpoint Senior Analyst Sujeong Lim said, “Price band dynamics during Q4 2020 indicate ASPs (average selling prices) are on the rise. 2019’s biggest segment ($101-$200) shrank by 7% pts, while the more premium $300-plus segments grew by 8% pts, helped tremendously by Apple, which enjoyed a dominant market share of over 70 per cent in this category.”

Lim added, “The smartwatch market is being driven by three premium brands – Apple, Samsung and Huawei. We believe the ASPs will continue to rise over the next two to three years as these companies’ flagship models continue to lead. On the other hand, Apple’s success with its Watch SE model will likely spur others like Samsung to release similar variants, moving closer to the mass market. Over a three to four years timeframe, we see budget players like OPPO and Realme gaining a significant share, intensifying overall competition and bringing down the prices.”