Home / NewTech / Apple Watch accounts for half of the record fourth-quarter smartwatch broadcasts

Apple Watch accounts for half of the record fourth-quarter smartwatch broadcasts

  39-Apple Watch Series-4-Larger-44mm

The Apple Watch was still Smartwatch King in the fourth quarter of 2018, but lost market share to Samsung and Fitbit.

Sarah Tew / CNET

At the end of last year, smartwatches were more popular with shoppers than ever before, and according to new research, reached a record for worldwide shipments.

Global smartwatch broadcasts reached a record 18 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018. This represents an increase of 56 percent year-on-year, reported Researcher Strategy Analytics on Wednesday. Worldwide shipments reached 45 million units for the full year – also a record.

"Smartwatch is growing at a rapid pace as consumers want to upgrade their smartphone and provide digital connectivity to their wrists," said Steven Waltzer, industry analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.

Apple held on to the smartwatch crown, although its market share dropped from 67 percent held a year ago to 51 percent, analyst Strategy Analytics reported Wednesday. Apple delivered 9.2 million smartwatches in the fourth quarter, an increase of 18 percent over the same quarter in 2017.

Despite increased shipments, Apple lost ground to its competitors, including Samsung, with the brands leaped by FitBit and Garmin Samsung's market share in the quarter was 13 percent, compared to 5 million year-over-year (before 5 percent).

Immediately behind Samsung in third place was Fitbit, which more than tripled its market share in the past year and 13 percent was the market. Garmin ranked fourth with a relatively unchanged market share of 6 percent.

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