The coronavirus pandemic has impacted global trade and has forced consumers to tighten their wallets as the pandemic continues to cause havoc across the world.
Surprisingly the pandemic effects did not stop the smartwatch market from growing considerably in Q1 2020.
A report from Canalys estimates that the smartwatch market as a whole grew by 12% year on year despite everything that has happened in the past few months.
The growth was not driven by Apple Watch, which has been losing market share over the last year but It was Samsung, Garmin, and Huawei that helped the global smartwatch market grow.
Samsung and Garmin both saw solid growth year on year, shipping hundreds of thousands of more units in Q1 2020 versus the same period in 2019. Huawei, though, more than doubled its market share over the past year, managing to ship 2.1 million smartwatches in Q1 2020.
Research analyst Cynthia Chen said China will be the “key smartwatch growth driver” this year due to its “strongly recovered economy” and launches from Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo.
Fitbit only managed to push roughly 900,000 units, down from the 1.1 million units it shipped in Q1 2019 and Google’s Wear OS, was nowhere to be found in Q1 2020’s top 5.
The rankings show Apple remaining the market leader despite shipments dropping from 6 million in Q1 2019 to 5.2 million. This is followed by Huawei in second place with the largest rate of increase in unit shipments, up from 1 million to 2.1 million, due to a strategy of packing smartwatches with its latest P40 smartphone range.
Samsung ranked third on shipments of 1.8 million units (up 46 per cent), with Garmin fourth on 1.1 million (39 per cent) and Fitbit shipments decreased 21 per cent to 900,000 units.