Global smartwatch shipments up 13% in Q1 2022 as Apple continues to dominate the market – The National | Hot Mobile Press

Global shipments of smartwatches rose 13 percent to about 33.7 million units in the first quarter of 2022 as Apple continued to dominate the segment, a new study by Counterpoint Research showed.

The market is expected to continue its growth for the full year as manufacturers develop more devices to meet the needs of those conscious of their health and well-being, the Hong Kong-based data provider said in its quarterly Report on Wearables on Tuesday.

This year, however, expansion is expected to slow. While smartwatch shipments rose 28 percent in 2021 – a multiple increase from 2 percent in 2020 – it is expected to halve to 14 percent by the end of 2022 and then increase to 15 percent next year.

The slowdown started back in the first quarter, mainly due to the Russian military offensive in Ukraine, which has disrupted supply chains and pushed inflation to record levels.

“Although the global smartwatch market saw little growth in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19, it has continued to perform well since last year’s recovery,” said Sujeong Lim, Associate Director at Counterpoint, wrote in the report.

“The market has experienced rapid growth by increasing consumer interest in health and fitness. During this time, new manufacturers entered the market, bringing more models, designs and price points. This was another factor that enabled the market growth by expanding consumer choices,” the study states.

Wearables have increasingly become part of people’s daily routines as they converge with other consumer technology devices such as smartphones, computers, home appliances and even cars.

According to research firm Facts and Factors, the global wearable technology market is expected to reach more than $380 billion by 2028, up from nearly $116 billion in 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of 18.5 percent.

Smartwatches are driving the growth of the market as more and more consumers are using them to track their health metrics, it said.

Counterpoint’s report showed that geographically, most major regions saw annual growth, with North America having the largest market share at 29 percent, followed by China (23 percent), the EU (18 percent), Asia-Pacific and China India (14 percent).

Europe’s performance was flat. While Apple and Samsung continued to grow on the continent, other big brands like Fitbit and Garmin declined.

India grew the fastest, gaining more than 7 percent. The Middle East and Africa region had just 2 percent, beating Latin America’s 1 percent.

The smartwatch market is expected to “re-energize” in the coming months as major brands release new hardware, Counterpoint said.

Apple is expected to unveil the Watch Series 8 – which is set to feature a new high-end rugged version – around the time the next iPhone launches in September.

The California-based company is expected to maintain and continue to grow its market share, Mr. Lim said, citing Apple’s strong brand loyalty and the watch’s “high performance” and “excellent connection between supported iOS devices.”

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“That popularity appears to be higher among the younger generation, making Apple an irreplaceable leader… We believe Apple’s market share is likely to continue to grow through the end of this year,” he said.

Samsung, meanwhile, is expected to unveil a new Galaxy Watch at its Unpacked event in August, where it will also showcase its new foldable smartphones.

But arguably the most interesting launch will come from Google, which announced its first Pixel Watch during its I/O 2022 conference in May. The device is scheduled to appear in the fall.

“There was a lot of market interest in the details,” Counterpoint said of the Pixel Watch.

“Although Google did not reveal the price or detailed specifications, user-friendly software such as Google Maps, Google Wallet and Emergency SoS and the body designed in the shape of a circular dome are enough to be attractive options for users in many ways.”

[The Apple Watch’s] Popularity seems to be higher with the younger generation, making Apple an irreplaceable market leader… we think Apple’s market share is likely to continue growing by the end of this year

Sujeong Lim, Deputy Director at Counterpoint Research

Apple also continued to play a major role in the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) headset category due to the popularity of its AirPods line.

The global TWS market grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the first quarter of 2022 and showed little change in volume. In terms of value, however, it was more dynamic, Counterpoint said.

Devices priced between $50 and $100 outperformed budget products (under $50), while ultra-premium products – those over $150 – outsold the premium segment ($100 to $100). $150) as consumers seek more features.

“As the TWS market matures, consumers are becoming more discerning and more focused on things they care about, such as brand image, new features, sound quality, weight and battery life, rather than cheap products,” Counterpoint said.

In the virtual reality (VR) headset market, the Meta Quest 2 — formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2 — was the first VR device to surpass 10 million units shipped, Counterpoint said in the report.

Meta – the parent company of Facebook, which acquired the Oculus brand in 2018 – had five VR headsets in the top eight, with a total of 18 million units shipped. The Sony PlayStation VR came in second with 6.6 million units, while the HTC Vive came in third with 3.3 million units.

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