​Huawei and Apple big wearable winners in 2021

And the Android surge is starting
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Huawei and Apple posted big smartwatch gains, as the industry surged in 2021 according to a new report.

CCS Insight has released its annual Wearables Report of global wearables shipments, and the big conclusions are that smartwatches are still hot, especially among Android users.

The report estimates that 232 million wearables were shipped in 2021, up from 193 million in 2020.

Apple was still the big winner, increasing shipments by 19% in 2021 over 2020. However, its market share is diminishing, as rivals catch up – and CCS Insight puts this down to increased interest from Android smartphone owners.

Smartwatch and fitness tracker shipments worldwide 2021:

2020 2021 % change
Apple 44 million 52 million 19%
Huawei 32 million 45 million 43%
Zepp 46 million 38 million -18%
15 million 14 million 8%
Samsung 11 million 13 million 18%
Other 47 million 71 million 52%
Total 193 million 232 million 20%

“As Android smartphone users start to show more interest in smartwatches, Samsung saw a positive sales trajectory in 2021, with its latest Galaxy Watch, which now uses Google’s Wear OS platform, proving a hit with owners of Samsung smartphones,” said James Manning Smith, Senior Analyst at CCS Insight.

With Wear OS 3.0 on the horizon and a possible Google Pixel Watch – that trend could become even stronger in 2022.

And Huawei was also a big winner. It grew its smartwatch shipments 19%, with the launch of the Huawei Watch 3 and Watch GT 3, and its entire wearables base by over 40%.

Samsung also saw an 18% growth in wearables in 2021, fuelled by the Galaxy Watch 4.

With winners come losers and Fitbit (technically Google) saw a reduction in its shipments, with an 8% decline across smartwatches and fitness trackers despite the launch of the Charge 5.

And Zepp Health also declined steeply with an 18% drop in shipments, after a quiet 2021.

The results of the 2021 Wearables Report aren’t hugely surprising, but confirm the trends around the growth of lower cost smartwatches and the huge potential of the Android market.

And it’s clear that the wearables industry show no sign of stopping its rapid growth.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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