Samsung dominates nascent smartwatch market

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Confirming wide interest in wearables, the global smartwatch market is growing quickly. Shipments in Q1 2014 grew 250% year over year according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. In all, some 700,000 smartwatches were shipped during the quarter. Samsung, which dominates the smartphone market, shipped about 500,000 of those, giving it a 71% market share. In comparison, it shipped 1 million smartwatches in all of 2013, taking about 52.4% of the market. What makes the numbers more impressive is that Samsung had yet to begin shipping its second generation smartwatches in the quarter.

Samsung’s marketing might likely helped it establish its early dominance in the market. Between rumours that Galaxy Gear returns were as high as 30% and less than positive reviews, Samsung quickly moved to launch a second generation of smartwatches, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, in a bid to hold on to its early lead.

Samsung’s closest competitors in Q1 2014 were Sony and Pebble, each holding about 11.4% of the market with shipments of about 80,000 units. Motorola (presumably with the MotoACTV) and Qualcomm with the Toq shipped about 10,000 units each for 1.4% market shares.

Strategy Analytics predicts that Samsung has the most to fear from Apple and its oft-rumoured iWatch. But other competitors are also bringing smartwatches to market in the coming months. Among them are Motorola with the Moto 360, LG with with the LG G Watch. Established players such as Pebble and Martian should also not be discounted and will likely also update their product offerings. With shipments expected to top 3 million in 2014, consumers should have plenty of choice.

Sources : Strategy Analytics // Yonhap News Agency