Wear OS market share quadruples in Q3 2021 thanks to Galaxy Watch 4

Daniel Sims

Posts: 404   +17
Staff
In brief: While Apple is still on top of the smartwatch market in the third quarter of 2021, Google's Wear OS made a significant leap in closing the gap. Analysis firm Counterpoint Research attributes the gain to Samsung's recent adoption of Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 4.

On Monday, Counterpoint Research revealed market shares for wearable operating systems since the first quarter of 2020. Until Q3 2021, Apple's watchOS has held on to at least a 28-percent share. However, Wear OS surged from four percent in Q2 2021 to 17 percent in Q3, quickly claiming second place and pushing Apple's share to 22 percent.

Counterpoint senior analyst Sujeong Lim pins this entirely on Samsung's switch from its own Tizen OS to Google's Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 4. She believes Google couldn't achieve much in wearables on its own.

"This is because Google controlled smartwatch OEMs from customizing the UI, and it was not chosen by them due to its lower power efficiency and slow response time," Lim said.

Counterpoint also thinks the delay of Apple Watch Series 7 into Q4 2021 was a factor.

When Samsung originally announced Galaxy Watch 4's switch to Wear OS, it was expected to bring more software to the Galaxy Watch and, in turn, broaden the reach of Wear OS. Not only has Samsung significantly pushed Wear OS's market share forward, but the Galaxy Watch 4 also achieved number two in smartwatch shipments. Another chart from Counterpoint shows Samsung's shipments appearing to eat into Huawei's over the last year.

Counterpoint's Global Smartwatch Model Tracker also shows global smartwatch shipments in Q3 increased 16 percent overall year-over-year. Samsung, in particular, achieved its "highest quarterly shipments."

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I made the mistake of buying a WearOS watch in 2018. The thing was abandonware. Apps were underdeveloped and often neglected. The OS was the same.

Google finally decided to revamp this year but alas my watch couldn't get it, so I needed to buy a new one. Guess what I bought? Apple Watch. At least I'm guaranteed good quality apps and updates for years to come and am not at the mercy of Google's vagaries when it comes to maintaining their products.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,149   +1,047
I made the mistake of buying a WearOS watch in 2018. The thing was abandonware. Apps were underdeveloped and often neglected. The OS was the same.

Google finally decided to revamp this year but alas my watch couldn't get it, so I needed to buy a new one. Guess what I bought? Apple Watch. At least I'm guaranteed good quality apps and updates for years to come and am not at the mercy of Google's vagaries when it comes to maintaining their products.


Hard to blame you for jumping ships. I wouldn't touch an Android smartwatch before and I'll need a lot of convincing Google is in this for real this time. But we also need better hardware.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,099   +2,572
I've had 2 samsung watches with Tizen. I don't need "apps". Couple customized watch faces,
weather, notifications etc. 3-4 days battery life. Good enough.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 2,073   +1,651
Android and smart watches are not a good mix. I think people hold onto a smartwatch for longer than their phones generally. I certainly didn’t bother replacing my Apple Watch when I upgraded my iPhone.

But Android device manufacturers typically abandon their customers as soon as they have their money and this leaves older devices in the dark. Lots of Android watches are useless today, even ones that are maybe only a year or two old. It might be nice if our governments did something about this, they seem to kick up a fuss about Apple not using USBC. But seemingly don’t care about how long companies support their products for.