New Smartwatch Companies Rival Traditional Leaders


Apple, Samsung and other top smartwatch makers are quickly losing market share to new players, new research suggests.  

Apple, Fossil, Fitbit and Samsung will see their collective market share for watch shipments slide from 58% last year to 47% by 2023, per Juniper Research.

Through 2023, the biggest gainers will likely include Garmin, Huami and Huawei. In particular, Huawei’s watch shipments will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 20% during the period.

Smaller watchmakers are doing well too, thanks to strategies tailored for niche markets, unique use cases and atypical price points, Juniper suggests.

Companies like Garmin are making their presence felt by putting out premium smartwatches, which combine the best of fitness, outdoor activity and health features.

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More broadly, a growing focus on healthcare integration is contributing to an increase in smartwatch shipments.

At least through 2023, Juniper expects that Apple and Withings will lead the way in terms of healthcare integration, followed by Fitbit and Garmin.

The Chinese appears to be leading in terms of lower-priced smartwatches, which are driving overall shipments. Asian manufactures shipped roughly 24 million smartwatches last year, while U.S. companies shipped about 19.5 million smartwatches.

Through 2023, Juniper only expects Asian watchmakers to expand this edge.

The adoption of “hybrid” smartwatches -- or those that mix smart features like fitness tracking with more traditional watch designs -- appears to be taking longer than expected.

To the chagrin of companies like Garmin and Skagen, hybrids represented only about 22% of all smartwatch shipments, last year.

Juniper attributes the slower growth of hybrids to smaller players focusing on digital smartwatches offering more options in terms of apps, connectivity, and sensors relative to those included in hybrid watches.

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