Both Samsung and Fitbit have quadrupled the number of smartwatches sold in the 2018 holiday quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, according to a new Strategy Analytics report. Growth saw Apple's share of the smartwatch market fall more than 15 percent over the same period, even though it still dominates with more than half the market controlling. The numbers show a healthy picture for the global smartwatch market, which grew 56 percent year on year, according to analysts.
Despite Apple's declining market share, it is still selling more smartwatches than ever before. Apple shipments increased 1.4 million units compared to the year-ago quarter to a total of 9.2 million units sold in Q4 2018, according to Strategy Analytics data. Samsung became the second largest manufacturer with 2.4 million units shipped (compared to 0.6 million in the same quarter of 2017), while Fitbit increased shipments from 0.5 to 2.3 million.
The refined Apple Watch Series 4 used Apple's wearable formula to finally deliver its original vision, while Samsung's Galaxy Watch seemed like a fresh start for the brand, even if its execution was poorer. Meanwhile, Fitbit launched the Versa, a cheaper second-generation smartwatch that has improved many of the original's problems.
With everyone's sales increasing, the only loser in the Strategy Analytics report appears to be Google. Although it does not produce any smartwatches, the company's Wear operating system is intended to be companion software for Android. However, all of the most popular smartwatch brands continue to use their own software. There are rumors that Google may one day produce a smartwatch called "Pixel Watch", but otherwise it seems to be becoming irrelevant in the wearables market.