Google’s Wear OS predicted to nibble away at Apple’s smartwatch dominance

In a nutshell: Apple has lengthy reigned because the chief in smartwatches. However, latest market evaluation signifies that Google’s Wear OS platform is step by step eroding Apple’s dominant place.

According to the most recent report from analysis agency Counterpoint on the smartwatch panorama, Wear OS units are projected to seize 27 % of the worldwide market in 2024, up from 21 % in 2023. While nonetheless trailing Apple’s watchOS, which is anticipated to carry 49 % this yr (down from 53 %), the six % acquire for Wear OS is critical.

The resurgence of Wear OS has been years within the making. Previously, the platform was nearly deserted by Google after an extended interval of stagnation. However, a renewed dedication from the search big, together with a strategic partnership with Samsung, has revitalized the wearable working system.

Reports recommend that the 2 manufacturers are collaborating on Wear OS 5, primarily based on Android 14, with a possible launch later this yr.

The development trajectory of Wear OS is being pushed by a wave of highly effective new smartwatch fashions working the platform. Counterpoint highlights releases such because the Google Pixel Watch, OnePlus Watch 2, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 sequence as key contributors to Wear OS adoption.

However, the wearable market is rather more fragmented past simply Apple and Google’s software program platforms. According to the information, health tracker giants like Garmin, together with gamers like Amazfit, make up round 26 % of the “superior” smartwatch area, which incorporates units with app retailer performance.

Turning to the chip market, Apple and Samsung management two-thirds of the superior smartwatch chip market. However, Hengxuan and Qualcomm are poised for double-digit development in 2024. Qualcomm will profit from new W5+ Gen 1 and W5100 processors, whereas Hengxuan will acquire from well-liked Huawei and Xiaomi wearables in China.

Regarding China, the home market presents a special situation. Huawei’s HarmonyOS dominates the smartwatch platform with a 48 % share, anticipated to develop to 61 % this yr. Apple holds simply 28 % of the Chinese market, whereas Wear OS has made little affect within the area up to now.

Another fascinating development is rising round energy effectivity. According to Counterpoint, manufacturers are beginning to undertake a dual-OS, dual-chip technique that mixes a high-end processor with a low-power co-processor. This permits smartwatches to seamlessly change between the 2 environments relying on the duty at hand, optimizing battery life.

The new OnePlus Watch 2 serves as a primary instance, with claimed runtimes as excessive as 48 hours underneath heavy use and as much as 12 days in a particular power-saving mode.

Image credit score: Emiliano Cicero

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