Samsung's Tizen winning OS war with Android Wear says report

But Apple remains top of the smartwatch OS pile
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Despite a growing army of Android Wear smartwatches, Samsung's Tizen OS, which features inside the Gear S3 and Gear S2 is apparently proving a more popular smartwatch OS choice.

That's according to a report released by market research company Strategy Analytics, which tracked global smartwatch shipments and share from 2013 to Q1 2017. It revealed that during that Q1 2017 period, Tizen took 19% of the market share with Android Wear just slightly behind with 18%.

Essential reading: Samsung Tizen v Google Android Wear

Apparently this is the first time Samsung's watch OS has leapfrogged Google albeit by 1%, but it's a vast improvement from a company that failed to really make a dent on the smartwatch front based on reports from previous years.

So who was top? Apple's watchOS of course with 57% market share and from just a few devices led by the Apple Watch Series 2 alongside the Watch Series 1 and the original Apple Watch. So it suggests that both Google and Samsung have some catching up to do as far as dominating the smartwatch space is concerned.

Does that mean Samsung is kicking serious Google butt? Well, based on these insights it does appear to support the fact that the Korean company's last two smartwatches have been more of a hit than the many others that came before it. The addition of iOS compatibility has certainly helped and features like the rotating bezel and packing one of the best smartwatch displays in the smartwatch business will surely have helped as well.

But we wouldn't be surprised if this swings back in Google's favour before the end of the year. We are still waiting on a host of new Android Wear smartwatches from the likes of Hugo Boss, Movado, Tommy Hilfiger and Fossil. With Android Wear 2.0 finally here (for some), the improved iPhone support among other features will no doubt make Wear a more attractive proposition.

When we spoke to David Singleton, VP of engineering at Google earlier this year, he painted a more positive picture of how well Android Wear was faring saying the company had seen double digit percentage sales and activations growth every year since the first Android Wear watch was launched in 2014.

"The holiday period of 2016 compared to holidays 2015, we saw over 70% more activations, so that gives you a sense of how quickly the ecosystem is growing," Singleton told us. "If you look at our companion app on Google Play, you can go there and see how many times the app has been downloaded."

That app download number is around the 5 million to 10 million mark, which is still vague but does give us a ballpark mid-point of 7.5 million to go on.

This is definitely good news for Samsung but the company that really has the most reason to be cheerful is Apple.

Source: Tizen Experts

Samsung's Tizen winning OS war with Android Wear says report

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

Related stories