The Apple Watch has long been known to be the smartwatch market dominator. Now, the latest research shows just how much of a lead it has.
Apple reportedly shipped 9.2 million Apple Watch models during the last quarter of 2018, according to the latest data from Strategy Analytics. That’s an 18 percent bump from the same quarter in 2017, when Apple shipped 7.8 million units.
The Cupertino tech giant shipped an estimated total of 22.5 million through 2018, up from 17.7 million units in 2017.
And it’s not just Apple’s smartwatch sales that are growing. Global smartwatch shipments across the board grew an estimated 56 percent year-over-year, reaching a record 18 million units in Q4 2018.
For the entire year, Strategy Analytics reports that about 45 million smartwatch models shipped in 2018. Apple accounted for half of those shipments.
On the other hand, while the Apple Watch is clearly a dominant force in the smartwatch sector, Apple’s lead actually fell slightly year-over-year.
Apple held onto its first position, but its total smartwatch market share fell from 67 percent a year ago to 51 percent this quarter. Samsung came in second in the same quarter, overtaking competitors like Fitbit and Garmin.
But despite that marketshare slippage, the race still isn’t even really close.
Apple still retained 50 percent of the marketshare throughout 2018. For comparison’s sake, Fitbit came in second for the year with a distant 12.2 percent and Samsung ranked third with 11.8 percent.
The Strategy Analytics report corroborates previous research by The NPD Group. Earlier this month, the research firm said that Apple Watch was the “clear market leader” in a sector that was seeing impressive growth across the board.
On the other hand, while Apple’s competitors are currently a distant threat, it might not stay that way forever. Apple’s rivals, like Google and Samsung, are continuing to invest heavily in the wearables sector.
We still don’t know how Apple Watch’s performance is faring in 2018 since the company no longer reports unit sales in earnings calls. But CEO Tim Cook did reveal that the company’s wearables revenue was growing and that the Wearables, Home, and Accessories category was “approaching the size of a Fortune 200 company.”