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Customers Hungry For New Smartwatches: Q1 Shipments Up 20%

Global smartwatch shipments increased by 20% year-on-year to hit 13.7 million units in Q1 2020. “Despite considerable headwinds from the COVID-19 scare, global demand for smartwatches continues to grow,” said Steven Waltzer, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Smartwatches are selling well through online retail channels, while many consumers have been using smartwatches to monitor their health and fitness during virus lockdown.”

Apple continued to lead the smartwatch market in Q1, shipping 7.6 million units, which accounted for 55% of the total. This was followed by Samsung, which shipped 1.9 million, and Garmin, which returned to third place with 1.1 million shipments.

Garmin’s sale of fitness wearables surged by 24% in Q1 2020 to total $223.6 million. “Garmin has grown from 7% to 8% global smartwatch market share in the past year. Enhanced new models, such as the Venu with OLED color touchscreen, are proving popular with sports and fitness fans across North America and elsewhere who like to track their daily activity,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

In Q1 2020 Fitbit sold 2.2 million devices, marking a year-on-on year fall of 26%, which the company said was “driven by the introduction of one new product in the first quarter of 2020 versus three new products in the first quarter of 2019”.

Fitbit noted that smartwatch devices accounted for 54% of revenue, up from 42% a year ago.

“While COVID-19 has impacted our business, and there continues to be uncertainty around consumer demand and the economy, we are moving quickly to develop innovative products and services that can help people during this time,” said James Park, Fitbit co-founder and CEO.

Looking ahead, Strategy Analytics expects smartwatch shipments to slow in Q2, but expects there to be a rebound later in 2020 as consumers gain confidence and retail stores begin to reopen.

“Smartwatches continue to have excellent long-term prospects, as younger and older people will become more health-conscious in a post-virus world,” said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. “Smartwatches can monitor vital health signs, such as oxygen levels, and consumers may find comfort in having a virtual health assistant strapped to their wrist.”

Given the heightened demand for health tech products during the COVID-19 lockdown, SmartHouse’s most recent issue covered smartwatches, fitness trackers and other innovative wearables.

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