KEY POINTS

  • A new report details how smartwatches from various companies performed in Q12020
  • The report reveals that the Apple Watch had fewer shipments during the first quarter
  • Despite slowed shipments, however, the Apple Watch continues to take the lead 

The Apple Watch continues to take the lead among other smartwatches, despite shipping fewer units globally in the first quarter of the year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new report from market research firm Canalys reveals that although Apple shipped fewer Apple Watch units in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to 2019, its wearable continues to take a lead among other smartwatches in the market.

The report indicated that Apple shipped an estimated 5.2 million Apple Watches during Q12020 – a 13% drop compared to the 6 million estimated units it shipped in Q12019. Despite the slowed shipments, however, Cupertino's wearable still stays in the top spot for smartwatch market share around the world at 36.3%.

Apple Watch leather straps These Apple Watch leather straps will give a style boost to any of your outfits. Photo: AFP / Johannes EISELE

The Apple Watch is followed by Huawei, which shipped an estimated 2.1 million units during Q12020 to earn a 14.9% market share; and by Samsung, which shipped an estimated 1.8 million smartwatches in the same period to acquire a 12.4% market share.

Canalys indicated that the Apple Watch performed slowly in North America and Europe, but performed well in other territories. Analyst Vincent Thielke said the slow demand for the device in the said regions can be attributed to another Apple device: the AirPods.

“Strong overseas demand for smartwatches helped offset the Apple Watch’s slow performance in Europe and North America, which was due to Apple customers switching their attention to AirPods as a ‘must-have’ accessory,” he said.

It's worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to stay at home for their own safety. People had to work from home and had to adjust to using video conferencing apps such as FaceTime and Zoom. The AirPods, which works with Apple's other devices, could be used for such a purpose and more.

The report added that Samsung and Garmin saw increased sales in North America and Europe. Apple and Huawei, on the other hand, saw new users purchase their smartwatches. Apple benefitted from its carrier partnerships in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Huawei, on the other hand, saw more users by shipping its wearable with purchases of the new P40 flagship smartphone.