Apple Watch’s lead slips in Q2 2018

Apple’s smartwatch performed strongly in Q2 2018 with 3.5 million shipped worldwide, a 30% increase on the same period last year according to a report from analyst firm Canalys.  But it’s dominance is under threat from the competition.

  • Overall global smartwatch shipments hit 10 million for the quarter with Garmin and Fitbit both putting in strong performances.
  • Competitor success is attributed to a diversification of product portfolios that appeal to niche consumer segments.
  • Apple’s share of the smartwatch market fell to 34% from 43% in Q1 2018.
  • Apple Watch shipments to Asia (excluding China) surpassed 250,000 units with the LTE version accounting for 60% of that figure.

Vendors are trying to differentiate their products with advanced heart-rate metrics, smart coaching and mapping, and consumers now have a much wider range of smartwatches to choose from than they did a year ago. Amid further competition from Samsung and Google, rumoured to be launching Galaxy and Pixel watches respectively,  Apple needs to work out how to drive refreshes in markets such as the US, where its penetration in to the existing iPhone installed base has started to level off.

Canalys research analyst, Vincent Thielke