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Counterpoint: Apple dominates smartwatch market during 2020

Paul Lipscombe
March 5, 2021

The success of Apple’s Watch series continues with over 33m units sold in 2020

Global smartwatch shipments grew 1.5 per cent during 2020, with Apple maintaining top spot for market share.

Analyst firm Counterpoint Research revealed that a slight decrease in Q4 2020 meant the overall market remained flat last year.

However Apple still grew market share by six per cent year on year in the final quarter.

Strong sales of the Apple Watch Series 6 and SE saw the Cupertino-based giant ship 12.9 million units in Q4.

And Counterpoint Research senior analyst Sujeong Lim expects the premium brands of Apple, Huawei and Samsung to continue driving this market.

“The smartwatch market is being driven by three premium brands – Apple, Samsung and Huawei. We believe the ASPs will continue to rise over the next two to three years as these companies’ flagship models continue to lead.

“On the other hand, Apple’s success with its Watch SE model will likely spur others like Samsung to release similar variants, moving closer to the mass market.”


Apple grew by 19pc last year, shipping 33.9 million units during 2020, which was considerably more than next best Huawei.

Huawei jumped into second spot, with 11.1 million units, ahead of Samsung on 9.1 million, with the South Korean vendor down one per cent YoY.

BBK Electronics, the Group that owns Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo and Realme, collectively sold 6.6m units in 2020, while Fitbit ranked fifth with 5.9 million units.

In the coming years Lim expects Oppo and other rivals to provide stiffer competition.

“Over a three to four years timeframe, we see budget players like OPPO and Realme gaining a significant share, intensifying overall competition and bringing down the prices.”

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