Why are People Buying Smartwatches Amidst the Pandemic?

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Despite the global plummet in the tech industry especially when it comes to smartphone sales, smartwatches have surprisingly been selling so much more so far in 2020. At a time when the biggest companies are uncertain of what this year holds, it seems they might just have to invest a little more on smartwatches that are seeing growing interest across all major brands.

According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, the smartwatch industry saw 14 million units shipped in Q1 2020. This is a positive move from the 11 million pieces thatsthat were in Q1 2019.

Steven Waltzer, a Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartwatch shipments grew 20% annually from 11.4 million units in Q1 2019 to 13.7 million in Q1 2020. Despite considerable headwinds from the Covid-19 scare, global demand for smartwatches continued to grow. Smartwatches are selling well through online retail channels, while many consumers have been using smartwatches to monitor their health and fitness during virus lockdown.”

Apple Watch apparently shipped 7.6 million units worldwide in Q1 2020, seeing a 23% rise from 6.2 million in Q1 2019. This accounts for a 55% market share for Apple from last year’s 54%. Meanwhile, its rival Samsung shipped 1.7 million smartwatches globally, inching up slightly from the 1.7 million shipped in Q1 2019. Samsung’s global smartwatch market share has dipped from 15% to 14% during the past year, thus retaining second position.

One brand that has been labelled as a hungry competitor, Garmin, redeemed itself by returning to third place for the first time in two years. The company shipped 1.1 million units worldwide, leaping by an impressive 38% from 0.8 million shipped in Q1 2019. Interestingly, Garmin has truly been trying to get everywhere including the Kenyan market where its watches are sold through CMC.

Need For Fitness

As mentioned earlier, this growth is owed hugely to the need for physical fitness by people around the world. During these times when everyone is stuck at home, it is reasonable for people to take some time in daily exercise routines and they would need smartwatches and fitness trackers to do that effectively.

Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “We expect global smartwatch shipments to slow sharply in the second quarter of 2020, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Sales in Europe and the US have inevitably been hit by virus lockdown in recent months. However, the second half of this year and beyond will see a decent rebound, as consumers worldwide steadily regain confidence and more retail stores reopen. Smartwatches continue to have excellent long-term prospects, as younger and older people will become more health-conscious in a post-virus world. Smartwatches can monitor vital health signs, such as oxygen levels, and consumers may find comfort in having a virtual health assistant strapped to their wrist.”

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