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Apple commits to building out the Watch’s health-focused capabilities

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  • Global smartwatch revenue jumped 20% YoY in H1 2020, with Apple grabbing 51% of revenue.
  • And Apple’s blood oxygen detection feature on the upcoming Watch Series 6 could be its key to further strengthening its hold on the smartwatch market. 
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Global smartwatch revenue jumped 20% year-over-year (YoY) in the first half of 2020, despite stagnating shipment growth during the period, according to data from Counterpoint Research.

apple watch series 5 40mm GPS Cell

Apple was the leading smartwatch vendor by revenue in H1 2020.

Apple


Apple was the leading smartwatch vendor by revenue, which grew 22% YoY — and extended the gap between itself and rivals: During the first half of 2020 Apple’s share of the smartwatch market grew 8 percentage points, from 43% in H1 2019 to 51% in H1 2020. On the other hand, Samsung’s share of smartwatch shipment revenue fell 2 percentage points to 7.2% in H1 2020, making room for Garmin and Huawei to jump to the second and third spots, with 9.4% and 8.3% of the market, respectively. 

Growing demand for health-focused features as a result of the pandemic largely helped drive the global smartwatch market in H1 2020. Counterpoint Research noted that smartphone shipments grew in the markets most affected by the pandemic, such as India and the US, which helped to soften the blow from other markets where shipments declined. And nearly 3 in 5 smartwatches shipped in H1 2020 featured heart rate monitoring. 

Apple may be on track to extend its lead over rivals with its rumored blood oxygen detection feature. At its annual WWDC conference, Apple signaled its commitment to building out the Watch’s health-focused capabilities when it announced new features including a sleep-tracking feature to monitor sleeping habits. However, Apple’s rumored SpO2 tracking (blood oxygen saturation) addition to the upcoming Watch Series 6 could be its key to further strengthening its hold on the smartwatch market.

SpO2 levels are an important metric to track during this time, as they can alert users to a potential coronavirus infection — and new smartwatch models with health features like the ability to detect SpO2 levels should see mass adoption in the year ahead, Counterpoint Research notes.

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