Global smartwatch shipments rise by 12% year-over-year in 2022




The global smartwatch market shipments grew 12% 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 2% YoY in the fourth quarter of 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 129% and 34%, 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 fourth quarter when compared to third quarter.”

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 shipments increased 17% YoY as the Apple Watch Series 8, Ultra and SE 2022 enjoyed strong sales. In addition, annual shipments increased by 50 million for the first time, accounting for about 60% of the global smartwatch market revenue and further widening the gap with No. 2 Samsung.
  • Samsung’s yearly shipments increased by about 12% to account for about 10% of global smartwatch shipments. However, revenue only increased by 0.5%, which seems to be largely due to a slight drop in the ASP compared to the previous year, although sales of the newly released Galaxy Watch 5 series this year were positive.
  • Huawei‘s market share fell 1%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. (HLOS smartwatches run a high-level OS, such as Watch OS for apple or Wear OS for Samsung, with the ability to install third-party apps).
  • 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 Indian market’s growth slowed in the fourth quarter and failed to beat Huawei, it is attracting discussions on whether it 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 flat or decreased compared to the previous year. 

Smartwatch Shipment Share by Region, 2022 vs 2021

Source: Counterpoint Global Smartwatch Model Tracker, Q4 2022

In terms of regions, North America recovered as the largest smartwatch market in the fourth quarter of 2022, which also allowed it to remain in first place for a full year again. The region showed a significant increase in shipments driven by the strong performance of Apple 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 the third quarter of 2022 but fell 36% QoQ in the fourth quarter. 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 Apple received a great response to its more diverse line-up compared to the preceding series.

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