Strong Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 shipments propel Google Wear OS market share

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Apple has so far faced a challenge in the smartwatch segment, with the tech giant dominating the market for too long. Even Samsung, which has been Apple’s traditional rival in the smartphone space, couldn’t make a dent in the popularity of the Apple Watch lineup or the watchOS platform. Maybe it won’t happen now.

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recently report good Counterpoint Research indicates that Samsung – riding high on the popularity of the Galaxy Watch 4 series – has managed to significantly increase its market share in the third quarter of 2021, mainly at the expense of Apple. The massive popularity of the Galaxy Watch 4 series has also led to the biggest jump in market share Google’s Wear OS platform has ever experienced in its nearly eight years of existence.

As things stand, Samsung finds itself on the heels of Apple in terms of smartwatch market share, with the latter’s once dominant position now in grave danger.

Graph showing the global market share of smartwatch operating systems.
Google’s Wear OS market share grew from just 3% in the second quarter of 2021 to 17% in the third quarter of the same year – all thanks to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series. Counterpoint Research

While Counterpoint stopped disclosing the actual market share of Samsung, Apple and other smartwatch vendors, it indicated that Apple lost 10% market share in a single year. Such was the impact of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 that Google’s Wear OS, which had a modest market share at the end of 2020, now finds itself in a fairly comfortable position with 17% of the market. Apple maintains a slim lead and currently accounts for 22% of the global smartwatch space.

Before we dismiss Apple entirely, it’s important to note that this data is from the third quarter of 2021, just before the company launched the Apple Watch Series 7 lineup. Chances are high that we could see Apple look back strongly once we have data for the last quarter of 2021. Still, Samsung’s decision to switch from its proprietary Tizen OS to Wear OS on its new Galaxy Watch couldn’t have come at a better time. For Google, though, it remains to be seen whether it can be sustained over the long term.

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