Friday, Sep 17, 2021
Demand for wearable devices remained strong in the first quarter of 2021, although slightly lower than last season's record, according to the latest reports from IDC and Counterpoint. The IDC report shows that companies have entered the market with a total of 104.6 million wearables in the last quarter, which shows a growth of 34.4% compared to 77.8 million wearables sold in the first quarter of 2020. This is the first time that the supply of wearable devices has exceeded 100 million units in one season. Also, although Apple and Samsung recorded double-digit market share in the last quarter, most of the market growth was due to the performance of smaller companies.
Meanwhile Apple, as in most recent periods, in the period from January to March this year, from The supply of wearable and smartwatch products has surpassed that of its competitors. Although the Cupertino-based giant has achieved a significant growth of about 50% in the global smartwatch market compared to the first quarter of last year and has achieved a market share of 33.5%, the company's annual growth in the supply of wearables during the first quarter of 2021 to 19.8% is limited. However, this amount still increased the total of 5 million units compared to 25.1 million units of supply in the same period last year and kept Apple's market share at 28.8%, despite a slight decline.
After Apple, Samsung as the second top manufacturer of other competitors in terms of percentage increase. The Korean company grew by 35.7% year-on-year and increased its supply by nearly 3 million units, from 8.7 million in the first quarter of 2020 to 11.8 million in the first quarter of this year. Interestingly, this increase in supply has only resulted in a 0.1% increase in Samsung's market share, which is largely due to the role of smaller competitors such as BoAt and their efforts to be more effective in the market; A company based in India that many may not have even heard of, but its domestic supply in the country in the first quarter of this year, with an explosive growth of 700,000 wearable units to 3 million units. A quadruple increase that puts BoAt in the top 5 manufacturers of wearable products.
Other wearable manufacturers, including Fitbit, Garmin, Havami, Amazon, Bose, and Razer, have also experienced tremendous quarters due to the growing popularity of low-cost fitness bands and fully wireless headphones (TWS). Xiaomi, meanwhile, is the only company in the top five wearable makers to experience a drop in supply, falling from second to third place. Huawei, meanwhile, ranks fourth thanks to its attractive product portfolio, which includes advanced smartwatches and reasonably priced wristbands, along with a variety of inexpensive activity trackers and earmuffs.
IDC report indicates that in the field of advanced wearable products, Apple Airpods and airbags (Beats brand) have recorded the weakest performance, which according to The market maturity of these two products (and the saturation of buyers), along with the remarkable success of Apple Watch, seems somewhat reasonable.
Samsung, on the other hand,'s significant growth is largely due to the expanding portfolio of Galaxy Buds, as well as the company's low-cost wireless headphones sold under the JBL brand. This shows the wide range of choices for TWS headphones in various price ranges (with or without active noise canceling feature) and how much companies like Apple need to constantly update their AirPods to compete with similar products.
According to Counterpoint, smartwatches, which make up a large portion of the wearable product portfolio, experienced 35% annual growth in supply in the first quarter of 2021, including demand for the Apple Watch Series. 6, as mentioned, has made the company continue to lead the market with a record increase of 50% over the same period last year. After Apple, Samsung has become the second largest supplier of smartwatches with a 27% annual increase in the successful supply and sales of devices such as the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active. But Huawei, as one of the leading manufacturers of smartwatches in the first quarter of 2020, is still losing its market share.
Counterpoint experts classify smartwatches into three categories: smartphones with low-level proprietary operating system or RTOS (such as Xiaomi and Oppo products), smartwatches for children (such as BBK, Huawei, and Vodafone Neo watches and high-end smartwatches (such as Apple, Samsung, and Garmin) are classified.
Expanding its portfolio from the Watch SE to the 6 Series at the right time, it has established itself as a market leader. "It could be a boost for Samsung to offer a mid-range model to boost growth." He added that Huawei is facing difficulties due to reduced sales of smartwatches and how to optimize the connection between the smartwatch and the company's smartphones based on the Harmony OS operating system. Therefore, it seems that the next Huawei wearable based on this operating system, which was discussed at the Huawei Analyst Summit last month, will be an interesting product. The device will be the starting point for a new ecosystem for developers to offer new user experiences for fitness straps, although its success will depend on the introduction of efficient Harmony OS-based handsets. The Honor, which has been out of Huawei for some time, should be able to open new doors for players such as Google and Qualcomm.
According to Counterpoint analysts, Apple ranks not only in terms of supply, but also in terms of operating system of smartwatches. First, and WatchOS, the company has more than a third of the market with an increasing rate of iPhone users. A success that Google's Wear OS has not yet achieved in smartwatches. Google's failure is largely due to the fact that market-leading manufacturers have often developed their own proprietary operating systems (such as Fitbit OS, Tizen, and Garmin OS). In addition, Wear OS lacks some features, such as battery optimization and chipset support, and as a result has settled for a 4% share of the smartwatch global market.
However, the partnership between Google and Samsung, recently announced at the Google I/O conference, is likely to reverse this trend soon. In fact, Google is looking to integrate Tizen with Wear OS to bring 3.5 billion Android users to the new platform by refreshing the market. Lim hopes that Google's new platform will be introduced in the new generation of the Galaxy Watch series later this fall. In his view, the focus of this operating system will not only be on improving battery performance, but also providing users with newer applications and services, and will improve the artificial intelligence and integration process of Android watches and phones. In this way, Samsung can make better use of the extensive user base of Android phones. As Google completes the Fitbit acquisition process, it will need to upgrade its Wear platform with fitness capabilities and related service integration.
Neil Shah, Counterpoint's vice president for research, further explained the collaboration. Google and Samsung consider it a great move by Google to realize the company's ambitions in the field of wearables. According to him, the new operating system can create a powerful set of Wear-based devices by integrating the best existing operating systems, namely Tizen OS, Fitbit OS and Wear OS. This combination will naturally give more power to Google's Wear platform and encourage more developers to create new experiences in bracelets. Source: IDC