Wear OS accounts for less than 12% of the U.S. smartwatch market

Wear OS accounts for less than 12% of the U.S. smartwatch market

Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit make up 88% of all smartwatch sales.

While the smartphone market may be sitting at a standstill right now, the smartwatch market is currently growing. According to an analysis from research firm NPD, dollar sales of smartwatches in the U.S. increased by a massive 51% in November 2018 compared to November 2017 — resulting in total sales of $5 billion. As for unit sales, those saw an even larger 61% increase.

What’s resulting in those big numbers? Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit. Per NPD:

While Apple is the clear market leader, the new Smartwatch Total Market Report reveals that the top three brands (Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit) made up 88 percent of smartwatch unit sales during the timeframe. However, traditional watch manufacturers, like Fossil, and fitness-focused brands, like Garmin, are working to grow their share of the market, as they continue to expand into the smartwatch category.

As for the remaining 12%, that’s being shared by Google’s Wear OS watches and smaller brands like Garmin. We could see Wear OS’s numbers increase this year thanks to the platform’s recent UI overhaul, Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, and rumored Pixel Watch, but if it does grow, there’s no telling by how much.

Looking through the rest of the report, here are a few other interesting stats that stick out:

  • 16% of U.S. adults own a smartwatch (up from 12% in December 2017).
  • People aged 18-34 carry the majority of the market with 23% market penetration.
  • 15% of smartwatch owners use their devices to control smart home tech.

In the Android space, Samsung’s Gear and Galaxy smartwatches have proven to be a mighty force to be reckoned with. Last year’s Galaxy Watch was crowned as our favorite smartwatch/fitness tracker of 2018, and during Samsung’s Unpacked event on February 20, we’re anticipating the company to unveil a more sporty and affordable option with the Galaxy Watch Active.

Fitbit’s growth in the smartwatch field is quite surprising, considering that it only has two models available with the Versa and Ionic.

Wear OS needs nothing more than a runaway success if it wants to stay in the fight. I sure hope the Pixel Watch exits the vaporware stage this year and finally becomes a real product that we can buy, but even if we do get it, will that be enough for Wear OS to beat out the competition?

That’s a tough one. Sound off in the comments below if you have any thoughts on the subject.

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