Good news for the Samsung Galaxy Watch, but Apple shouldn’t be worried just yet


If you’re a fan of the Galaxy Watch series – the flagship smartwatch range from Samsung – this week saw a very welcome update. According to the latest figures from industry research firm Counterpoint Research, Samsung has finally managed to barge its way onto the podium of the three biggest smartwatch brands worldwide.

The South Korean firm, which launched its first smartwatch under the Galaxy Gear brand back in September 2013, is now only behind Apple and Huawei. These rivals own approximately 28 and 9.3 percent of the global smartwatch market respectively, according to Counterpoint Research.

Meanwhile, Samsung now accounts for 7.6 percent of all shipments worldwide.

For those concerned that Samsung might retire its smartwatch efforts anytime soon – this milestone is a good sign to expect more devices in the Galaxy Watch series soon. However, the good news doesn’t end there.

Samsung was the biggest winner in the second quarter of the year, recording an impressive 43 percent year-on-year growth for its smartwatch brand. After rough sales throughout 2020, the spike in sales was noted as a “quick recovery” by the team at Counterpoint Research.

Overall, the smartwatch market has grown 27 percent since the same period last year. More people are turning to wearables to track their vital signs, like heart-rate, sleep and blood oxygen, as well as keep tabs on their workouts.

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The positive boost to sales comes as Samsung launched its latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4. Stock levels are already dwindling worldwide, suggesting that earlier response to this new wearable has been hugely positive.

The Galaxy Watch 4 makes a departure for the South Korean firm has it relies on Google’s Wear OS platform, rather than Tizen OS, which is developed internally by Samsung and has powered all previous timepieces in the Galaxy Watch line. With its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit at the beginning of the year, Google is taking wearables seriously again. Its partnership with Samsung, which brings its Wear OS platform, to the third-biggest smartwatch manufacturer on the platform should be a real boost for the operating system.

Both Google and Samsung hope the growing user base will encourage developers to create new apps and watch faces for the platform. As it stands, software developers have to create separate apps for Apple Watch, Huawei’s HarmonyOS, Tizen OS, Wear OS, and Fitbit. Given how little market penetration some of these platforms have – it’s understandable that only Apple has a thriving marketplace of new wearable apps.

Interestingly, the figures shared by Counterpoint Research come from a period before the Wear OS partnership with Google, which shows that Samsung and its Tizen OS system were able to singlehandedly claw their way into the Bronze medal position. As for the rest of the Wear OS gadgets available on the market? It’s buried somewhere in the “Other” part of the market, which makes up the remaining 43.3 percent.

However, on its own, Wear OS must account for less than 5.8 percent – the last brand worthy of being flagged by Counterpoint Research in its latest paper, which goes to Garmin.



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