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Apple Watch Ultra drove growth in China's wearables market

Apple Watch Ultra

Parts of China's market for wearables declined in quarter three of 2022, but smartwatches, including the Apple Watch Ultra, saw growth.

The smartwatch category was the only wearables segment that saw growth in quarter three, an increase of 17% year-over-year with 3.4 million shipments. Notably, the Apple Watch Ultra drove sales in the premium segment, meaning devices that cost $700 and over.

Shipments for basic bands fell to 3.5 million units, a 22% decline, according to a recent analysis from Canalys seen by AppleInsider.

Basic watches saw a similar lapse, though not quite as drastic. Shipments for this segment fell 7.7% to 5.1 million units shipped in quarter three.

Smartwatches had strong sales in China. Source: Canalys
Smartwatches had strong sales in China. Source: Canalys

However, basic watches still dominated in China, accounting for 40% of the overall market. Basic bands and smartwatches were almost even at 29% and 28%, respectively.

Analysts cited lockdowns in China, a decline in consumer confidence, and decreased spending for non-essential goods such as wearables as contributing factors for the overall decline of 7.1% for the wearables market.

Vendor rankings

In particular, Canalys examined data from China's top five wearables vendors. In the first place, Huawei shipped 2.9 million units in quarter three, commanding 24% of the market share.

Xiaomi comes next with 2.6 million shipments and a 21.9% market share. XTC, in third place, achieved 1.2 million shipments at a 9.8% market share.

Vendor shipments and annual growth. Source: Canalys
Vendor shipments and annual growth. Source: Canalys

Apple, in fourth place, shipped one million units with a market share of 8.6%. Finally, OPPO rounds out the list with 500,000 shipments and a 4.3% market share.

Apple did well in other device categories as well. For example, data from December 8 showed the company's iPad at the top of the tablet market, even as its growth slowed to 7%.