Apple Watch dominated smartwatch sales in 2018, accounting for half of global shipments

Fresh report highlights the Cupertino giant's dominance
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Smartwatch sales are on the rise and the Apple Watch is dominating the market according to the latest report from research firm Strategy Analytics.

While Apple never talks numbers relating to the performance of its smartwatch, the research firm's Global Smartwatch Vendor Market Share report reveals that Apple had 51% of the global smartwatch marketshare. Additionally, overall global smartwatch shipments were up by an impressive 56% on the previous year.

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Fitbit was next up in the list followed by Samsung and then Garmin as global smartwatch shipments hit an all-time high of 45 million units for the whole of 2018. Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin are considered the main players in this space and apparently account for 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide.

While things seem to be looking good for Apple, its dominance in the space has slipped largely down to the growing presence of Samsung and Fitbit. “Apple shipped 9.2 million smartwatches worldwide in Q4 2018, rising 18 percent from 7.8 million units in Q4 2017, says Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "Apple’s global smartwatch marketshare slipped to 51 percent this quarter, down from 67 percent a year ago. Apple Watch is losing marketshare to Samsung and Fitbit, whose rival smartwatch portfolios and retail presence have improved significantly in the past year.”

Apparently the Samsung Galaxy Watch proved popular with smartwatch fans in both America and Asia while Fitbit is establishing itself as a top-tier smartwatch brand according to the firm.

While it seems the big four are dominating things now, a recent forecast report suggested Chinese brands will start to outgrow the likes of Apple and Fitbit over the coming years.

What is clear though is that smartwatch sales are on the up. More people are wearing them according to the data and whether that's an Apple Watch or an Amazfit Bip, it's good news for the smartwatch industry on the whole.

Apple Watch dominated smartwatch sales in 2018, accounting for half of global shipments

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.

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