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Global Smartwatch Shipments Grow 9% YoY in 2022; Price Polarization Seen in Demand

  • The market showed decent YoY growth in 2022, though it dropped 8% YoY in Q4
  • Quarterly shipments turned to a YoY decline after seven consecutive quarters of growth.
  • Shipments in the >$400 price band more than doubled in 2022, while the mid-price range saw a YoY drop.
  • Indian brands such as Noise and Fire Boltt found spots in the global top 5 sellers’ list thanks to the rapid growth of their domestic market.

Seoul, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – February 22, 2023

The global smartwatch market shipments grew 9% YoY in 2022 due to the strong YoY growth witnessed in the first three quarters of the year, according to Counterpoint Research’s recently published Global Smartwatch Model Tracker. But the shipments fell 8% YoY in Q4 2022 amid inflationary pressures and slow India growth. This was the market’s first negative growth in eight quarters since the pandemic hit the world in 2020.

 

Global Top-selling Smartwatch Brands’ Shipment Share, 2022 vs 2021

Source: Counterpoint Global Smartwatch Model Shipment & Revenue Tracker, Q4 2022

 

The most striking feature of the year was price polarization in demand. Shipments in the mid-price range decreased while those in the >$400 and ≤$100 segments increased 104% and 41%, respectively, compared to the previous year.

Research Analyst Woojin Son said, “Apple strongly drove the average selling price (ASP) rise in the global smartwatch market in 2022, especially in the >$400 price band. There are two main reasons for this ASP rise – a diversified Apple smartwatch line-up and a rise in the exchange rate. This year, Apple released its first premium model, Ultra, at a release price of $799 in the US. In addition, as the exchange rate rose, the local price of Apple Watch in various countries changed. The demand for the premium segment remained relatively strong despite the decline in consumer sentiment at the end of 2022.

Son added, “On the other hand, we must be cautious about the low-price band of sub-$100. While this segment expanded in 2022 along with the remarkable growth of India’s market, it showed a large withdrawal in Q4 when compared to Q3.”

 

Global Smartwatch Shipment Share by Wholesale Price Band, 2022 vs 2021

Source: Counterpoint Global Smartwatch Model Shipment & Revenue Tracker, Q4 2022

 

Market summary

  • In 2022, Apple’s global market share decreased by 2.6%p with shipments remaining almost flat year on year. In terms of revenue, however, it grew 15% YoY, accounting for 56% of the global smartwatch market revenue and further widening the gap with No. 2 Samsung.
  • Samsung’s yearly shipments increased by 12% to account for more than 10% of global smartwatch shipments in 2022. Although sales of the newly released Galaxy Watch 5 series in the year were positive, its revenues only increased by less than 1%, which seems to be largely due to a slight drop in the ASP compared to the previous year.
  • Huawei‘s market share fell 0.5%p YoY due to the Chinese smartwatch market losing momentum to India in 2022. However, the brand’s revenue increased by 20% thanks to its relative focus on HLOS* smartwatches.
  • Noise and Fire Boltt, the Indian brands that supported the rapid growth of their home market, showed excellent growth in 2022. The two brands surpassed 5% of the global market share to rank fourth and fifth, respectively. Although the makers failed to beat Huawei as the Indian market’s growth slowed in Q4, they are attracting discussions on whether they will be able to threaten Samsung’s position beyond Huawei next year.
  • Fitbit and Xiaomi’s rankings fell to 10th and 11th in 2022 from 7th and 8th in the previous year. The strength of Indian brands was also affected, but these two brands failed to defend their share in their main markets like North America (Fitbit) and China (Xiaomi). Their shipments were decreased or flat compared to the previous year.

 

Smartwatch Shipment Share by Region, 2022 vs 2021

Note: Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Source: Counterpoint Global Smartwatch Model Tracker, Q4 2022

In terms of regions, North America recovered as the largest smartwatch market in Q4 2022, which also allowed it to remain in first place for a full year again. The Apple’s home market showed a significant increase in shipments QoQ, despite the sales of Apple Watches being lower than expected in the fourth quarter. However, North America’s share decreased slightly as India emerged as another core region in 2022.

India’s market more than doubled compared to 2021. It grew steadily until Q3 2022 but fell 36% QoQ in Q4. Senior Analyst Anshika Jain said, “The third quarter of 2022 saw a big rise because most of the brands pushed high inventories into the channel ahead of the festive season. Therefore, we saw a decline in shipments in the fourth quarter.”

In the fourth quarter of 2022, China’s shipments rebounded for the first time in the year as the COVID-zero policy was eased, and both Huawei and Apple are received a positive response with their more diverse products.

 

*Smartwatch type definition

  • HLOS smartwatch: Electronic watch running a high-level OS, such as Watch OS (Apple) or Wear OS (Samsung), with the ability to install third-party apps.
  • Basic smartwatch: Electronic watch running a lighter version of an OS, with the inability to install third-party apps.

 

Background

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

  

Analyst Contacts

Sujeong Lim

Neil Shah

Follow Counterpoint Research

press@counterpointresearch.com

 

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