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Apple still tops growing global smartwatch market

Apple accounts for nearly half the 12 million smartwatches shipped during the second quarter, Strategy Analytics reports.


Apple Watch has the global smartwatch market in hand.

Érika García/CNET

The global smartwatch market is experiencing what one analyst called "impressive" growth. And Apple is still leading the way, by a wide margin.

Manufacturers shipped 12 million smartwatches during the second quarter of 2019, a 44% increase over the same quarter last year, market analyst Strategy Analytics reported Tuesday. Much of that growth is attributable to consumers increasingly accessorizing their smartphones with fitness-focused wearables, Strategy Analytics said.

Apple retained its market share crown, boosting its size of the pie from 44.4% to 46.4% on 5.7 million units shipped during the quarter.

Apple Watch remains a long way ahead of the chasing pack …[and] has fended off strong competition from hungry rivals like Fitbit," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. "Apple remains the clear smartwatch market leader."

Apple has made a big push into the health and fitness industry, providing more health data to people through its devices, including step-counting on the iPhone and heart-rate tracking on the Apple Watch.

In a January interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook trumpeted the company's efforts in health care.

"This is an area that I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, 'What was Apple's greatest contribution to mankind?' It will be about health," Cook said.

No. 2 Samsung also recorded impressive market share growth, going from 10.5% to 15.9% on 2 million units shipped. Much of Apple and Samsung's market share growth appears to be at the expense of third-place Fitbit, which saw its share decline from 15.2% to 9.8%.

"Fitbit has struggled to compete with Apple Watch at the higher end of the smartwatch market, while its new Versa Lite model has struggled to take-off at the lower end," Mawston said.