Samsung sees smartwatch growth of 127% in Q1 2019, but Apple is still king

Lineup of smartwatches
Lineup of smartwatches (Image credit: Android Central)

The latest numbers are out for smartwatches in the first quarter of 2019, and it shows very good news for Apple. In year-on-year growth, Apple saw a growth rate of a whopping 48% in the first quarter, giving it 35.8% of the overall smartwatch market.

Sales were driven by the Apple Watch Series 4 and its continued focus on health-related features. According to a survey, the ECG capability was the most desired feature on the watch. Apple recently received approval in 19 additional countries for the ECG feature, which will open it up to even more customers in the future.

Other than notifications and cellular connectivity, the most important factor for smartwatch buyers has been health monitoring. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the largest complaint has been about the limited battery life. Counterpoint Research Analyst Satyajit Sinha had this to say.

The heart rate sensor for health monitoring, GPS and pedometer sensors for fitness, and NFC embedded for payment are some of the key integrated technologies. However, limited battery life remains a pain point for consumer's decision-making process, irrespective of region and price band.

Besides Apple's fantastic numbers, there was growth for Samsung, Fitbit, and Huawei as well. With the launch of the Galaxy Watch, Samsung saw very impressive growth of 127% in Q1 of 2019.

While that only adds up to 11% of the overall smartwatch market, it still positions Samsung as the number one Android smartwatch brand.

Huawei was able to grow its market share to 3% overall in Q1 of 2019 with the release of the Huawei Watch GT. At the same time, it also continues to sell fitness bands under its Honor brand.

Fitbit also stands out in the rankings, by growing from 3.7% in Q1 of 2018 to 5.5% in the first quarter of 2019 with its popular fitness-focused smartwatch lineup, such as the Versa and Versa Lite.

The numbers clearly show if you want to be successful in the smartwatch game, you better bring the fitness. Customers are willing to shell out money for smartwatches despite phone sales declining, but only if it has the features they are looking for.

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Jason England