If you’re a fan of the Galaxy Watch series – Samsung’s flagship line of smartwatches – there was a very welcome update this week. According to the latest figures from industry research firm Counterpoint Research, Samsung has finally managed to push its way onto the podium of the three largest smartwatch brands worldwide.
The South Korean company, which launched its first smartwatch under the Galaxy Gear brand in September 2013, is now only behind Apple and Huawei. These rivals own about 28 and 9.3 percent of the global smartwatch market, respectively, according to Counterpoint Research.
Samsung now accounts for 7.6 percent of all shipments worldwide.
For those who fear that Samsung may end its smartwatch efforts anytime soon, this milestone is a good sign that more Galaxy Watch series devices are expected soon. The good news doesn’t end there, however.
Samsung was the biggest winner in the second quarter of the year, seeing an impressive 43 percent year-over-year growth for its smartwatch brand. After gross sales in 2020, the spike in sales has been dubbed a “rapid recovery” by the Counterpoint Research team.
Overall, the smartwatch market has grown 27 percent since the same period last year. More and more people are turning to wearables to track their vital signs like heart rate, sleep, and blood oxygen, and to keep track of their exercise.
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The positive boost in sales comes when Samsung launched its latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4. Inventories are already dwindling worldwide, which suggests that the previous reaction to this new wearable has been very positive.
The Galaxy Watch 4 makes an exit for the South Korean company, which is based on Google’s Wear OS platform, rather than Tizen OS, which is developed in-house by Samsung and has powered all of the previous timepieces in the Galaxy Watch line. With the $ 2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit earlier this year, Google is taking wearables seriously again. The partnership with Samsung, which brings its Wear OS platform to the third largest smartwatch maker on the platform, should give the operating system a real boost.
Both Google and Samsung hope that the growing user base will encourage developers to create new apps and watch faces for the platform. Currently, software developers have to create separate apps for Apple Watch, Huawei’s HarmonyOS, Tizen OS, Wear OS and Fitbit. Given the low penetration of some of these platforms, it’s understandable that only Apple has a thriving market for new portable apps.
Interestingly, the numbers shared by Counterpoint Research come from a time before the Wear OS partnership with Google, which shows that Samsung and its Tizen OS system single-handedly worked their way into the bronze medal. As for the rest of the Wear OS gadgets out there? It’s buried somewhere in the “other” part of the market that makes up the remaining 43.3 percent.
On its own, however, Wear OS has to account for less than 5.8 percent – the last brand that deserves to be featured by Counterpoint Research in its latest paper going to Garmin.