Apple Watch continues to maintain its lead over competitors like Samsung and Fitbit in the smartwatch market. The wearable from Apple maintained its first position in the global smartwatch market. Its share reached 48 percent in the third quarter of this year, up from 45 percent in the same quarter last year. According to a report by market research firm Strategy Analytics, the global smartwatch shipments grew 42 percent annually to reach 14 million units in the third quarter of 2019.

“Apple shipped 6.8 million smartwatches worldwide in Q3 2019, rising an above-average 51 percent from 4.5 million in Q3 2018,” Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. “Apple Watch continues to fend off strong competition from hungry rivals like Fitbit and Samsung. It owns half the worldwide smartwatch market and remains the clear industry leader,” Mawston added. Samsung also saw growth and held on to second place in the smartwatch market. Its share jumped from 11 percent to 13 percent during the past year.

The market share for Fitbit, which clung on to third position, fell to 11 percent this quarter, down from 15 percent a year ago. “Samsung shipped 1.9 million smartwatches worldwide in Q3 2019, almost doubling from 1.1 million a year ago. The global smartwatch market share of Samsung has jumped from 11 percent to 13 percent during the past year,” said Steven Waltzer, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Samsung’s new models, such as Galaxy Watch Active 2, should enable the South Korean tech giant to improve its global smartwatch presence in Q4, Waltzer added. Fitbit, which earlier this month entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google, shipped 1.6 million smartwatches worldwide in Q3 2019. “Fitbit continues to under perform the smartwatch industry average. It has struggled to compete with Apple Watch at the higher end of the smartwatch market, while its latest Versa Lite model has struggled to excite consumers at the lower end,” Mawston said.

Fitbit’s recent takeover by Google will be a relief to the company, as Fitbit is under rising competitive pressure from Apple, Samsung, Garmin, Huawei, Xiaomi and others. “The big question now on everyone’s lips is what Google plans to do with Fitbit, and whether Google will expand or contract Fitbit’s famous hardware, operating system, and healthcare, sport and fitness services,” Mawston added.

(Written with IANS inputs)