Samsung wearables on the up in the US while Wear OS struggles continue

Apple is still leading the pack
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The wearable market in North America has hit $2 billion with Apple, Fitbit and Samsung largely responsible for booming smartwatch sales fuelling that growth.

That's according to new data from analyst firm Canalys, which revealed shipment and market share insights. It put Apple on top revealing that 60% of the company's global Watch shipments happened in North America.

Essential reading: Best smartwatches to buy

Samsung will be pleased with the numbers on show, as shipments of its wearables in Q2 2019 rose by 121% to 800,000 units. That's an impressive rate of growth compared to its competitors.

Samsung unveiled new Galaxy Fit fitness trackers and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch with all of these devices coming in at more attractive price points than previous devices. With the Watch Active 2 already on the way, those figures could well improve for the rest of the year.

Samsung wearables on the up in the US while Wear OS struggles continue

The market however still belongs to Apple overall. It shipped 2.9 million units in the same period giving it a market share of 37.9% to Samsung's 10.6%. This chimes with data we've seen from other reports. The worldwide numbers recently reported by Strategy Analytics show very similar divides in terms of figures - 46% of global smartwatch shipments being fulfilled by Apple, for example.

Canalys also found that Fitbit's share of the market is shrinking. It accounted for 24.1% of the North American market in Q2 2019, which was down from 28.3% in Q2 2018. This is even less of a surprise, given the company's own admission of poor sales for the Versa Lite Edition.

Another interesting finding in the report is that Wear OS has hardly made a dent on the market as a whole as of yet. While the Fossil Group does uses Google's smartwatch platform for all of its proper smartwatches and does make the list, it still represents a small share of the market. Google will be hoping new watches from Fossil and the improvements it's been making to its smartwatch platform will improve that over the coming months and years.

Canalys believes that LTE connectivity and actionable health insights will be key to wearable growth going forward, but still believes that Apple is best placed to continue leading the way thanks to its big moves in the serious health monitoring space.

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Max Freeman-Mills


Reporter Max Freeman-Mills joined the Wareable team as a journalism graduate. He's gone on to be contributing editor at Pocketlint, as a skilled technology journalist and expert.

In addition, Max has written for The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and has done work for Gizmodo UK and Kotaku UK. 

Max has his finger is firmly on the pulse of wearable tech – ensuring our coverage is the most comprehensive it can be. 

That also involves interviewing CEOs and figureheads from the industry.

Max loves a bit of football, watching and playing to differing degrees of success, and is practically resident at the Genesis Cinema.

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