China’s smartwatch market experienced a sluggish recovery in the first quarter following the country’s reopening, with shipments witnessing a significant decline. According to the latest report from Counterpoint Research’s Global Smartwatch Model Tracker, smartwatch shipments in China dropped by 28% year-over-year and 16% quarter-over-quarter, reaching their lowest level in 12 quarters.
Counterpoint’s Senior Analyst, Shenghao Bai, noted that despite the boost in consumption during the Spring Festival, the demand for smartwatches remained weak in Q1 2023, echoing the trends observed in China’s smartphone shipments. Bai emphasized that the market will require more time to fully recover.
The leading brands in China’s smartwatch market during Q1 2023 were Huawei, Apple, and BBK (imoo), collectively capturing nearly 60% of the market share. Among the various types of smartwatches, HLOS* smartwatches experienced the smallest year-over-year decline in shipments, with its market share increasing from 39% in Q1 2022 to 45% in Q1 2023. However, shipments of ‘kids smartwatches’ in China witnessed a significant 31% year-over-year decrease, even though the country remains the largest market for such devices worldwide.
Commenting on the market trends, Research Associate Alicia Gong said, “Despite the overall demand for smartwatches dropping in Q1, the demand share for HLOS smartwatches rose. These are advanced watches offering users more customization and independence. Though BBK (imoo) still dominated the kids smartwatch market with a 35% share, its shipments of the watch remained flat YoY amid a shrinking kids segment.”