The smartwatch market hit record levels in 2021

The highest ever quarterly global shipments for smartwatches was recorded in Q4 2021, driven partly by cheaper devices and growth in India, claims industry analyst Counterpoint Research.

According to Counterpoint Research’s Global Smartwatch Model Tracker, 40 million smartwatches were sold in the Q4 2021 alone which contributed to the 24% overall growth for the year.

In terms of the top three brands, Apple retained its leading position with 30% market share. This actually dropped by 3% on 2020, but that didn’t stop it accounting for half of the entire sector’s revenue. Samsung had a particularly good year as well, with QoQ growth of over 200% in Q3, while Huawei saw YoY shipments decline as US sanctions continue.

“The global smartwatch market’s good growth in 2021 is meaningful in itself, but it is more meaningful in that it makes us look forward to future growth,” said Associate Director Sujeong Lim at Counterpoint. “With their ability to monitor important health parameters like blood pressure, ECG and SPO2, these devices are becoming popular. Further, the attractiveness of smartwatches as independent wearable devices will increase if more of them start supporting cellular connectivity.”

The Indian smartwatch market was 3% of the global market in 2020, but it apparently grew to around 10% in 2021. On this point Senior Research Analyst Anshika Jain added: “Noise is the No.1 Indian smartwatch brand and leads the growth of the local market. It captured the top position in 2021 due to its diverse product portfolio targeting the budget and mid segments, as well as strong partnerships with e-commerce players, financial institutions and celebrities. Noise also focused on community building and slightly shifted its price base towards the lower side to make its smartwatches accessible to a larger group of people, a strategy that proved to be effective. All this resulted in Noise ranking third in terms of shipments after Apple and Samsung in the APAC region except China in 2021.”

Smartwatches were seen by some as something of an expensive novelty when they first appeared, and the high-end ones like the Apple Watch are still pretty damaging on the wallet – the current generation can go for as much as £699. However with what look like more competition in the market place there seems to be an increase in cheaper models, which looks like it is playing a large factor in the growth of the sector and perhaps also the modest decline of Apple’s market share.


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