Samsung and Huawei see growth in smartwatch shipments in Q1

And keep an eye out for flexible smartwatches.

Samsung and Huawei have surpassed Apple in smartphone shipments, but the Cupertino tech giant still leads in smartwatches.

Apple’s smartwatch market share in the first quarter of this year stood at 35.8%, a tick higher than its 35.5% record from a year prior, according to market research firm Counterpoint.

One in three smartwatches may carry Apple’s logo, but the company hasn’t seen growth in sales like some of its competitors.

“Samsung grew exponentially at 127% YoY (year-on-year) as the Korean brand’s market share jumped to 11% in Q1 2019,” said Counterpoint, adding that its success was due to the latest Galaxy watches having better battery life and a round clockface.

“Further, it provides cellular LTE (which is commonly marketed as “4G LTE and Advance 4G”) connectivity which gives it an edge over others targeting Android-based smartphone users. It is a great alternative to the Apple Watch for Android and Samsung’s huge installed base of users.”

Huawei’s global market share bumped up to 3% due to its latest Huawei Watch GT developing good traction, making it the six largest smartwatch vendor worldwide. Its striking design, affordability, as well as growth for the Huawei brand are driving demand, according to Counterpoint.

Another Chinese company, Nubia, has succeeded in drawing attention with a niche product.

“Foldable displays are coming to smartwatches. Nubia’s attempt to design ‘smartphone + smartwatch’ adds smartphone level capability to the wrist form-factor,” said Counterpoint associate director Brady Wang, when commenting on innovation across the smart wearables segment.

“The UI of Nubia Alpha comes with features like gesture control, shortcuts with image capture, and moving through apps. This makes the smartwatch versatile and user-friendly,” added Wang.

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