Apple leads the way as smartwatches dominate the wearable band market

The market as a whole grew six percent over last year.


The wearable market as a whole grew 5.6 percent last quarter, largely due to sales of smartwatches at the expense of basic bands, according to research firm Canalys. The boost was driven by Apple, which continues to dominate the market with its Watch models.

As Canalys noted, smartwatch sales took over from basic bands (sports bands, etc.) back in Q4 2020 and now account for 62 percent of all wearable band shipments. Apple now accounts for 31.1 percent of the smartwatch market and 19.3 percent of the wearable band market overall, second only to Xiaomi in number of shipments.

Apple leads the way as smartwatches dominate the wearable band market
Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 (Engadget)

Samsung also notably grew by 114 percent in terms of smartwatch shipments year-over-year, and could see further success with its latest Galaxy Watch 4 now powered by Wear OS 3, jointly developed with Google. Fitbit also saw a 20.6 percent boost in smartwatches over sales this time last year, powered by its Versa 2 and Sense models.

In the basic band arena, Xiaomi now leads the way in sales with a 19.6 percent share — just ahead of Apple — led by its Mi Smart Band 5 and 6 models. However, those products are significantly cheaper with retail prices of around $35 and $55, respectively.

Overall, consumers are most interested their health regardless of the product category. "Health tracking is the most prominent use case for smartwatches," said Jason Low from Canalys. "The ability to deliver cutting-edge health-tracking features and to offer users meaningful data and actionable health insights will set winners and losers apart."