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The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 series propels Wear OS to its best quarter in years

The difference a year makes. (Source: Counterpoint Research)
The difference a year makes. (Source: Counterpoint Research)
The overall share of Wear OS within the smartwatch market has never so much as cracked 5% in Counterpoint Research's reports on this space for the last 5 years. Now, thanks to the launch of the new Galaxy Watch4 series, things have changed considerably for the latest quarter of 2021. Google's platform is now nearly at 20%, although Apple remains the largest single OEM in the sector.

Consumer sentiment is often perceived as slipping in 2021. However, the smartwatch market seems determined to carry right on with ignoring this memo as the year goes on, building on the growth of the second quarter of the year (2Q2021) into the latest (3Q2021), which may be based on increased demand for and interest in personalized health-tracking that is always within reach of the user.

Google has clearly picked up on this trend, having chosen to re-animate Wear OS, initially in partnership with Samsung with a focus on cutting-edge tech to help boost fitness and well-being. This collaboration has ultimately resulted in the Galaxy Watch4 series, the first wearables to support the full version of Wear OS 3.

Counterpoint Research has now reported that their popularity has resulted in an increased share of the market for Samsung in 3Q2021: it now commands 14.4% of its shipments, compared to 9.9% in 3Q2020. Nevertheless, Apple Watches still lead the market, with 21.8% of all shipments, even though they have fallen by 10% YoY.

Therefore, Apple is also still first in the space in terms of share by OS, even though it has declined compared to 3Q2020. Google has leapt to 2nd (with a 17.3% share) despite being 5th in 3Q2020 with a relatively meager share of 3.2%.

Amazfit's share (in terms of both OS and shipments) has remained nearly flat year-on-year; however, it places 3rd in 3Q2021 overall thanks to factors such as their increasing success in Europe and Huawei's propitious slump year-on-year.

The OEM has wearables that might run a choice of 2 in-house OS types at this stage: LiteOS or HarmonyOS. However, they now have a combined share of about 4%, compared to 11.3% in 3Q2020. With Google now touted to grab even more of the market going forward thanks to its relationship with Fitbit, not to mention the impending obsolescence of Tizen, things are not likely to get better for the formerly major player in the near future.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 series propels Wear OS to its best quarter in years
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-11-23 (Update: 2021-11-23)