Apple Watch still dominating the North American wearables market

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Apple is continuing to dominate the North America wearables market, with analysts revealing the Apple Watch is helping boost Apple's shipments in the last quarter by 32% over the same period last year, helping it to maintain its lead over rivals Fitbit and Samsung.

The "Wearables, Home, and Accessories" segment of Apple's financial results saw substantial year-on-year growth in terms of revenue, growing from $3.73 billion in Q3 2018 to $5.53 billion for Q3 2019. It is likely the Apple Watch was a major contributor to that total, with figures from Canalys indicating the success of the wearable device is considerable when put into context of the rest of the market.

Thought to be the most valuable wearable band market in the world, North American shipments in the product category grew 38% year-on-year to 7.7 million units in the second quarter, generating $2 billion in revenue.

For Apple, 2.9 million units were shipped in North America for the quarter, up 32% from the 2.2 million seen in Q2 2018, with the 2019 figure believed to be more than 60% of global Apple Watch shipments. Due to the market's growth, Apple still saw its market share erode from 39.5% in last year's quarter to 37.9%.

This is still far head of Fitbit in second place, which enjoyed 18% annual growth to 1.9 million shipments, but also saw its market share drop from 28.3% to 24.1%. Samsung saw impressive growth of 121%, with shipments up from 0.4 million to 0.8 million and its market share going from fourth-place 6.7% to third-place 10.6%.

Of the rest of the table, Garmin saw 15% shipment growth to 500,000 units and a 7% share of the market, while Fossil enjoyed 34% growth to 300,000 units and a 4.1% share.

"Smartwatch vendors are increasingly getting nearer the bullseye — hitting the right price point in a way that spurs massive demand," said Canalys research analyst Vincent Thielke, with Samsung moving towards a more fitness-focused lineup with the Galaxy Watch Active, and targeting the $200 to $300 price band. Thielke adds "Packing features into a compact form factor that has an appealing design is challenging but rewarding."

A demand for "affordable smartwatches with strong health and other intelligent features" is still there, giving Apple Watch rivals like Fitbit an opening to acquire cheaper sections of the market, with Thielke suggesting cellular connectivity and actionable health insights are "key catalysts for additional growth."

For competitors, it is becoming "increasingly difficult to challenge Apple," believes senior analyst Jason Low. "Apple is poised to reinforce its leading position by including aggregated health data, which can reveal new trends and insights, both for consumers and the broader healthcare ecosystem."


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