Apple’s grip on the smartwatch market declined in the second half of 2018 to below 45 per cent, despite steady growth across the sector, ABI Research figures showed.
The analyst firm said Apple’s share of the market in Q2 and Q3 fell to 43.35 per cent, its lowest point since the same time in 2017. The company however still holds a significant lead over rivals Fitbit, Huawei and Samsung, which have roughly 8 per cent each, while the “others” category also saw an increase in its share during the period.
Between 2018 and 2023, ABI forecasted that the smartwatch market will see shipment increases from 40 million to more than 99 million, with the devices forming a major part of the overall wearables sector.
Stephanie Tomsett, research analyst at ABI Research, explained smartwatches now offer consumers a large number of wearable features, such as fitness tracking, notifications and heart rate monitoring from the wrist, with more options becoming available for consumers other than the Apple Watch.
“As the number of flagship and budget smartwatches continues to grow, consumers are increasingly opting for devices from companies other than Apple,” she added.
ABI noted that the latest Apple smartwatch, the Apple Watch 4, is an advanced device, not only offering notifications and fitness capabilities, but also LTE access, voice assistant Siri and other features such as a fall sensor and ECG heart readings in the US.
While few devices offer similar options, consumers may be tempted by other offerings from companies such as Fitbit, Huawei and Samsung which are cheaper in price, come with a long battery life and improved smartphone capability.
“Consumers are increasingly weighing up the benefits and costs between the extra features and the longer battery life/cheaper price,” added ABISubscribe to our daily newsletter