- The North American market for wearable bands, which includes smartwatches and fitness trackers, grew 38% to 7.7 million units in Q2 2019 from a year earlier, per a Canalys report. The region is the world's most valuable market for smartwatches, despite China touting higher unit sales, the researcher said.
- Apple's market share slipped 2% year-over-year in Q2 as competitors like Samsung showed strong growth. Apple Watch shipments rose 32% to 2.9 million units last quarter, while Samsung's Galaxy smartwatch shipments more than doubled to 800,000 units for the comparable periods. Samsung's overall market share climbed to 11% from 6.7%.
- Other players, including Fitbit and Garmin, showed declining market share in the quarter compared to Q2 2018. Fitbit's market share fell to 24% from 28% a year earlier on slower growth of 18% to 1.9 million units, while Garmin's share slipped to 7% from 8.4%, per Canalys.
The smartwatch market, initially slow to take off, continues to show healthy growth as tech companies expand the features of wearables and hone their pricing strategies. Smartwatches in the price range of $200 to $299 had the highest market share at 32% of shipments, while higher-end models captured 28% of the market, the study found.
Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active series was popular in the $200 to $300 range in Q2, as indicated by a surge in shipments. The Korean electronics giant is still far behind Apple, which pioneered the smartwatch category's growth with the Apple Watch's introduction in 2015.
North America is the most important market for the Apple Watch, generating more than 60% of its 4.7 million global shipments, per Canalys. The firm said that Apple is poised to reinforce its market lead by including aggregated health data in the Apple Watch.
Fitbit maintained its spot as the No. 2 maker of smartwatches behind Apple, but the company faces strong competition from Samsung, which showed significant growth in Q2. Fitbit's Versa Lite watch lost market share, Canalys said, indicating that consumers are less likely to buy lower-end smartwatches that have pared-down features compared to other connected options.