What you need to know
- Canalys reported that the wearable bracelet market saw an 18% decline in shipments.
- Google’s rise to second place in the fourth quarter was attributed to the launch of the Pixel Watch with 880,000 units shipped during the last quarter.
- Samsung has to contend with a sharp 35% drop in shipments of the wearable bracelet.
Google sees positioning rise while Samsung slips sharply through market rankings in its latest shipment report.
Canalys, known for its industry analytics, has published its latest estimate of the wearable bracelet market and its poor performance in the fourth quarter of 2022. According to Canalys’ the findings, wearable bracelet shipments fell 18% in the fourth quarter which is uncharacteristic for a season despite 50 million units shipped. Smartwatches also saw a double-digit decline, around 17%, during the same last quarter.
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For wearable wristbands, Google managed to climb into second place (just behind Apple), thanks to its 16% growth in the market during the fourth quarter due to the launch of the Pixel Watch. However, things have gotten a little sluggish for the company as it saw a 25% drop in year-over-year growth due to slowing Fitbit shipments.
Google also shipped just 4 million units in the fourth quarter compared to the same time in 2021 when it shipped 5.3 units of the Band wearable. This also sees a slight decrease in market share, which has reached 8%.
Canalys reported that Samsung didn’t fare well either, dropping to fifth place after suffering a sharp 35% drop in shipments in the fourth quarter. The dwindling Wear OS migration, along with the “frequent update” of the Galaxy Watch 5 series, should have contributed to this decline for the Korean OEM. In the fourth quarter, Samsung shipped only 2.9 million units, which contributed 5.9% of the market share versus the 4.5 million units shipped and 7.4% of the market share in the fourth quarter of 2021. However, Samsung managed to put in a fairly strong showing throughout 2022.
However, the analysis firm attributes the general misfortune in the wearable bracelet market to a “challenging macroeconomic environment” in the fourth quarter of 2022, similar to its estimates for the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Looking at shipments of wearable straps overall for 2022, it’s estimated that Google shipped 880,000 Pixel Watch units but it’s still a disastrous 22% drop from last year. Samsung may have grown in smartwatch shipments over the year, but in terms of wearable strap shipments, the company is facing a 4% decline compared to 2021.
There may be some light on the wearable bracelet market in 2023, and Canalys analyst Cynthia Chen suspects that “the wearable bracelet market is expected to grow by a modest 2% in 2023. While we expect core bands to continue to decline, core watches and smartwatches It will grow, but growth will be capped below 10%. Sellers will remain vigilant and will stress quality over quantity given some pickup in consumer spending.”
The Pixel Watch is one of the best smartwatches you can buy. Not only that, but thanks to Wear OS, you can access plenty of Google apps right from your wrist, and the Fitbit integration makes it great for fitness enthusiasts.
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