The world’s top four smartwatch vendors will see their market suffer by 2023, as competition heats up in the sector, according to the latest study from Juniper. The combined market share for Apple, Fossil, Fitbit and Samsung is expected to decline to 47 percent by 2023 from 58 percent in 2018, as smaller players, including Garmin, Huami and Huawei, muscle their way in. These smaller player will exploit niche markets, use cases and price points; some are expected to also release premium smartwatches, with fitness, outdoor activity and health features. Total shipments are expected to reach 166 million by 2023.
Smartphone shipments will get a boost from the integration of healthcare features, led by Apple and Withings, followed by Fitbit and Garmin. Apple will remain the largest single vendor in terms of shipments over the next four years, but Huawei will enjoy the fastest growth, with a CAGR of 20 percent.
China will become the biggest smartwatch market, with smaller players offering lower priced devices. The Far East & China has now overtaken North America as the most dominant market, with over 24 million smartwatches shipped in 2018 against 19.5 million for North America. The gap between these two markets will deepen further by 2023, with Far East & China tripling shipments.
Meanwhile, the adoption of hybrid smartwatches will be slower than expected. These devices represented an estimated 22 percent of all smartwatches last year. The forecast slower growth is linked to smaller players focusing on digital smartwatches offering more possibilities in terms of apps, connectivity and sensors than hybrid watches, which will remain limited in terms of functionality.