Apple launched its Apple Watch with built-in LTE connectivity not too long ago, and, ever since, the cellular-enabled smartwatch has been dominating the wearables market.
That trend continues, based on information provided by Canalys. According to their latest report, the Apple Watch with LTE has lifted Apple to 59% of the total cellular-enabled smartwatch market in the first quarter of 2018. The report also points out that there isn’t a specific competing product from the likes of Google, but suggests that if the company does launch a Pixel Watch later this year, we could see competition get a “jump-start”.
“Apple Watch shipments stabilized after a record quarter for the company and it matched its Q1 2017 number. “Key to Apple’s success with its latest Apple Watch Series 3 is the number of LTE-enabled watches it has been able to push into the hands of consumers,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Jason Low. “Operators welcome the additional revenue from device sales and the added subscription revenue for data on the Apple Watch, and the list of operators that sell the LTE Apple Watch worldwide is increasing each month.” Apple represents 59% of the total cellular-enabled smartwatch market. “While the Apple ecosystem has a strong LTE watch offering, the lack of a similar product in the Android ecosystem is glaring. If Google decides to pursue the opportunity with a rumored Pixel Watch, it would jump-start much needed competition in this space.”
Of course, it’s worth noting that Android Wear (which is Wear OS now) does have cellular-enabled smartwatches, including from Huawei and LG, but apparently those haven’t really caught on with consumers.
Fitbit and Garmin are also working to get their presence felt in the smartwatch market, with Garmin now the second largest smartwatch vendor, according to the recent data. And Fitbit is hoping its brand new Versa lineup will make a dent as well.
The smartwatch market blew up with the Pebble when that launched, but Apple has been dominating the space ever since. It would be good to see Google jump on board with a Pixel-branded smartwatch, though, so we could get some real competition.