Apple Watch loses ground to competitors in Q1 2020

Apple Watch Series 4 both sizes
Apple Watch Series 4 both sizes (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Figures for Q1 of the smartwatch market have surfaced.
  • They show the market as a whole grew 12% despite COVID-19.
  • Apple's market share shrunk by 13% as competitors started to catch up.

Apple's market share of smartwatch shipments fell in Q1 of 2020, as Apple lost ground to its competitors.

According to research from Canalys:

Worldwide smartwatch shipments reached 14.3 million units in Q1 2020, up 12% year on year, despite COVID-19. Though Apple's shipments fell 13%, its smartwatch platform remains the world's largest and is growing steadily. WatchOS gained 4 million new active users during the quarter, bringing the total installed base to an estimated 70 million. In the next three months, lifetime Apple Watch shipments will reach 100 million units.

Apple reportedly shipped 5.2 million watches, down 13% on the same quarter last year. Conversely, its competitors enjoyed significant growth. Notably Huawei (113%), Samsung (46%), and Garmin (39%). The market as a whole grew by 12%.

The report notes that this is the first time that North America accounted for less than a third of global shipments, highlighting "strong overseas demand" which helped to offset poorer performance in North America and Europe.

As the report notes, despite the double-digit fall in shipments, Apple still remains the front runner in the market, adding 4 million new watchOS users in the quarter. The total stands at an estimated 70 million, and it is expected that Apple will ship its 100 millionth unit in the next three months.

There's a good chance that a least some of WWDC next week will be devoted to the next installation in watchOS, watchOS 7. Here's a rundown of Rene Ritchie's wishlist.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9