Apple shrugs off Fitbit and Garmin to remain king of smartwatches

Apple Watch Series 3

According to the latest report by research firm Canalys, Apple claimed a majority of smartwatch shipments for the second quarter of 2018. Of the 10 million units shipped during the quarter, the company shipped about 3.5 million Apple Watches.

In comparison to the same quarter last year, Apple increased the number of smartwatches it shipped by 30 percent. But while shipment has grown, the report notes the company’s market share has done the opposite. The report states that Apple’s share of the smartwatch market fell to 34 percent from 43 percent since the first quarter of 2018.

Canalys associates the nine percent decrease in market share with Fitbit and Garmin’s increase in sales during the quarter.

“Apple faces a growing threat from competitors, which have started to pass the million quarterly mark,” Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke said. “Vendors are trying to differentiate their products with advanced heart-rate metrics, smart coaching, and mapping, and consumers now have a much wider range of smartwatches to choose from than they did a year ago.”

Thielke also mentions Samsung and Google as additional competition Apple should watch out for. Both companies are rumored to launch their own smartwatches within the near future — Samsung’s Galaxy Watch and the Google Pixel Watch.

Meanwhile, in Asia (excluding China) the cellular-connect Apple Watch Series 3 took the title for the best-shipping smartwatch for this 2018’s second quarter. Apple Watch shipments exceeded 250,000 units with the LTE version accounting for about 60 percent of the shipments.

It was also just last month that the International Data Corporation released its report on the wearables’ market. Out of the top five wearable companies in the first quarter, Apple also took the top spot. The company’s shipments grew 13.5 percent over the previous year, following the release of the Series 3 smartwatch.

Apple is already only a few months away from its Fall hardware event, where it will most likely unveil its next-generation smartwatch — The Apple Watch Series 4. While the company has been keeping any details under wraps, rumors have been surfacing across the internet. According to some, we could see a bigger battery and improved health tracking in WatchOS 5.

In 2017, Apple submitted a patent in late 2017 for a “sunscreen detector” that can be used with a “mobile and/or wearable device,” that monitors sun exposure and can then notify users to apply sunscreen. While we don’t know if this feature will ever be released, or whether it’s going to part of the next Apple Watch, it could be what distinguishes it from other competitors if it’s added to the device.

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