You didn’t know you needed LTE on a smartwatch until the Apple Watch

It should come as no surprise that the Apple Watch is dominating the smartwatch market. What may be surprising to some is that Apple is dominating the cellular sector as well.

Apple Watch reigns supreme

A new report from Canalys reveals that the Apple Watch Series 3 holds 59% of the cellular smartwatch market. These numbers are just for Q1 2018, which comes as no surprise considering that the Series 3 was just introduced last Fall.

Back in February, Apple held its Q1 2018 earnings report, revealing that the Series 3 are selling quite impressively. In fact, the Series 3 smartwatch is selling at twice the volume as the Series 2.

Some of this can be attributed to those on the original Apple Watch wanting to finally upgrade. However, the increase in sales can also be attributed to the release of the first LTE-enabled Apple Watch.

The interesting thing here is that the market for LTE-enabled smartwatches is not very saturated. LG, Samsung, and Huawei have released LTE options, but none of these have put a dent in Apple.

The LG Watch Sport, Huawei Watch 2, and Samsung Gear S3 are all around a year old. This has left Apple to continue to corner the market and expand its reach.

Plus, if you just watch a bit of television, you’ll likely see an Apple Watch ad at some point. The same can’t be said about the aforementioned companies and that plays a factor as well.

The entire wearable market

Expanding our horizons for a moment, Canalys also offered some insight into the wearable market. Over the last year, the wearable market as a whole has grown by 35%.

The report claims that more than 20 million units were shipped, with Apple leading the way. Xiaomi followed in Apple’s footsteps with an estimated 3.7 million units shipped.

Fitbit, Garmin, and Huawei round out the top 5 companies in the wearable market. Moving back to just smartwatches, Garmin outranks Fitbit and moves in behind Apple with 1 million units shipped.

Can anyone stop Apple?

We are starting to see a shift in the land, as Fitbit is pivoting its focus to smartwatches. This has been apparent with the release of the Fitbit Ionic last year and the new Versa.

Fitbit Versa Not Charging

Surprisingly, recent estimates suggest that smartwatches already account for almost 25% of Fitbit’s total shipments. It seems that Fitbit may have a winner on its hands with the Versa. Especially when you consider the various apps and features that are on the way.

As for others, there’s no real way to tell if anyone can make a dent in Apple’s wallet. Google is rumored to launch a series of Pixel-branded smartwatches this Fall. Not only is there hope for Wear OS to be revitalized, but also to help Google flex its muscles in the wearable market.

On the Samsung front, there have been recent reports suggesting the Gear S4 could be running Wear OS. However, Samsung smartwatches are generally popular and could take a bite from Apple.

Only time will tell, but for now, the Apple Watch Series 3 reigns supreme in the wearable market.


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