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Apple Watch Remains Nearly Three Times as Popular as Samsung Smartwatches

The latest data from market research firm IDC reveals that Apple Watch sales totaled an estimated 1.6 million units in the second quarter, for an industry leading 47 percent market share, compared to Samsung's estimated 600,000 smartwatch sales and 16 percent market share during the March-June period.

Apple-Watch-vs-Samsung-Gear
The numbers suggest that the Apple Watch remains nearly three times as popular as Samsung Gear smartwatches, nearly fifteen months after launching in the U.S. and eight other countries. Nevertheless, Samsung did close the gap with strong 51 percent year-over-year growth and a 9 point rise in market share.

IDC-smartwatch-sales-Q2-2016
Apple, meanwhile, experienced a 55 percent year-over-year decline, but the year-ago quarter encompassed the Apple Watch's launch and is thereby an unfair comparison. Apple Watch market share has dropped substantially, however, from an estimated peak of 72 to 75 percent following its launch quarter.
Despite a down quarter, Apple remains far and away the market leader in smartwatches. Apple faces the same challenges as other OEMs, but the pure exposure of the device and brand through tactical marketing gives it a leg up on the competition. Watch 2.0, along with updates to watchOS, could help drive existing user refresh and more importantly, a new wave of first-time buyers.
The overall smartwatch market experienced its first-ever decline as shipments fell 32 percent in the second quarter, totaling an estimated 3.5 million units compared to an estimated 5.1 million units in the year-ago quarter. Lenovo, LG, and Garmin rounded off the top five smartwatch vendors in the second quarter, but the trio combined to sell only 700,000 units. All other vendors sold a combined 600,000 units.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the so-called Apple Watch 2 will debut in the third quarter, setting the stage for a possible launch alongside the next iPhone in September. The next-generation Apple Watch could feature a FaceTime video camera, expanded Wi-Fi capabilities, cellular connectivity, and other internal upgrades, while new models and bands are always possibilities.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago
Not really surprising. Smart watches are gimmick devices. It's no wonder more Apple fans buy into this sort of thing. I say this as a AW wearer.
Rating: 12 Votes
40 months ago

Considering I see Apple Watches on celebrities and people on the street and very very rarely see other smart watches (not counting Pebble/fitbit), this is not surprising at all.


Woohoo, they dominate a market segment nobody cares about.

However, your anectdotal evidence doesn't pan out to even this study -- Apple still only has a 47% market share against all smart watches sold. All other smart watches therefore make up a 53% share. Which means, you shouldn't be seeing more Watches than any other kind, but at least in equal numbers.

Most of what you're seeing has likely always been there over the past year when Apple dominated the market with 72%, you're just now making a point to notice whether people are wearing them or not. And that's why anectdotal evidence doesn't really work for any kind of serious analysis ...
Rating: 10 Votes
40 months ago
I have an Apple Watch and a Samsung Gear S2. I see a lot of websites that "rank" the Gear S2 above the Apple Watch. I attribute this mostly to people refusing to acknowledge Apple as having a superior product.

I have had the Apple Watch since launch day last April and wore it every day for over a year. I got the Gear S2 about 3 months ago and have used it nearly everyday, so I feel I have a pretty good gauge how the two watches truly compare.

It is night and day different, the Apple Watch is hands down better. It is always buggy, often apps will crash, and overall I'm just unimpressed with the Gear S2. It seriously blows my mind when I see websites trash on the Apple Watch but talk about how great the S2 is.

Here's my recent adventure using the S2: I decide to reply to a text message on my watch. Siri has its faults on replies on an Apple Watch, but the S Voice on the Gear S2 I find is actually way less reliable. So I tend to reply via the on screen keyboard. I want to text back, "Thanks man, I'll see you later." It's a simple phrase. I have normal sized fingers so this should be easy, right? Nope. Could not get the words typed, and by the time I kept trying to retype a word the whole message app crashes, then proceeds to change my watch face to a totally different design and I cannot use the watch for about 10 seconds due to lag and crashes. The whole process takes me about 2 minutes. Total waste of time, I could have sent multiple texts on my phone in that time.

Gear Adventure #2: I'm getting ready to drive around while visiting Chicago and am trying to use my watch to mimic my Google Maps app on my Galaxy Note 5. After messing with it for about 5 minutes I cannot get the directions to synch up with my phone, the app proceeds to be super laggy, crashes, then resets my watch face. I try this process 2 more times with the exact same results.

These are not isolated events. These happen to me at least once a week. Now smart watches are a relatively new technology, so I don't expect perfect results every time. But come on, this happens way too frequently. In all my time using the Apple Watch I never had any issues remotely close to how awful the Gear S2 is in comparison.

Sure, you can write your hipster article all you want ranking the Gear S2 over the Apple Watch. But the fact is with my experiences, mixed with the fact that the Apple Watch is infinitely more customizeable, there is no way on Earth the Gear S2 is as good as the Apple Watch.
Rating: 9 Votes
40 months ago
Why are the Samsung smartwatches all circular?

The only reason to make your watch a circle is because it's an analog device... my digital watches have a much more rectangular shape, closer to that of an Apple Watch. There's nothing about your wrist that makes a circle a better usage of space.

My wife told me two days ago that she's thinking about getting an Apple Watch for the fitness features. I'm the nerd. Not her. She's more interested in it than I am. Which suggests that Apple is probably doing something right.
Rating: 9 Votes
40 months ago

Why are the Samsung smartwatches all circular?

The only reason to make your watch a circle is because it's an analog device... my digital watches have a much more rectangular shape, closer to that of an Apple Watch. There's nothing about your wrist that makes a circle a better usage of space.

My wife told me two days ago that she's thinking about getting an Apple Watch for the fitness features. I'm the nerd. Not her. She's more interested in it than I am. Which suggests that Apple is probably doing something right.


Most smart watches besides Apple are round. Since the initial hype is over and those watches account for over 53% of the entire smart watch market, I'd say Apple had better keep its options open. Function isn't the sole consideration for a product people wear. Never has been.
Rating: 8 Votes
40 months ago
Health bands and smartwatches are converging. Smartwatches in some form have a future.

Issue with AppleWatch and others - they try to do too much.
Rating: 6 Votes
40 months ago
Well, -55% growth is nothing to brag about, as too is bragging about selling more of a product in a **** market nobody cares about. It is obvious consumers are apathetic towards smartwatches, most are smart enough not to spend $500+ on a glorified Casio digital watch.
Rating: 6 Votes
40 months ago
I personally have not seen one person with a smartwatch. Not even in the gym.
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Why are the Samsung smartwatches all circular?

The only reason to make your watch a circle is because it's an analog device... my digital watches have a much more rectangular shape, closer to that of an Apple Watch. There's nothing about your wrist that makes a circle a better usage of space.

My wife told me two days ago that she's thinking about getting an Apple Watch for the fitness features. I'm the nerd. Not her. She's more interested in it than I am. Which suggests that Apple is probably doing something right.


It's the aesthetics. Usability is **** either way.
Rating: 6 Votes
40 months ago

Health bands and smartwatches are converging. Smartwatches in some form have a future.

Issue with AppleWatch and others - they try to do too much.


It may be a little less spectacular in the 'Wow' factor, but the Apple Watch is doing the same thing with watches (something many, many people use) and fitness bands (something a growing number of people use), that the iPhone did with cell phones (something many, many people used) and MP3 players (something a growing number of people were using). It took the two basic functions and put them into one device, while adding other functionality not really thought of for either of the legacy devices.

For years prior to getting my first iPhone, I had a cell phone (which also took pictures), and an iPod and didn't like having to carry two devices - I wished for someone to make a device that would cover both functions. The iPhone did just that and more. Late last year, I was in the market for a new watch, and was also interested in a fitness band. But I didn't want to wear two devices. I splurged and got the Apple Watch. It combines the basic functions of both devices, and adds other functionality. Some of which I don't care about, but some that I find useful. Overall though, I'm very happy with the decision and my use of the watch is growing.

I agree with you - smart watches in some form have a future. I don't think it will be as huge as smart phones, but I see a lot of potential.
Rating: 5 Votes
40 months ago
Considering I see Apple Watches on celebrities and people on the street and very very rarely see other smart watches (not counting Pebble/fitbit), this is not surprising at all.
Rating: 4 Votes

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