Garmin Struggle For Watch Market Share on iOS

Smartwatch Market Share by Smartphone OS

The above chart from Counterpoint offers an unusually rare insight into Garmin’s penetration into the different kinds of people that own the various smartphone brands. The doughnut/pie chart is also pleasantly interesting.


Garmin only has a 7% Share of iOS

On one level, that stat is alarming for Garmin.

In perhaps the most important market, Garmin’s penetration is half what it is on Samsung/Motorolla/Google smartphones. The explanation might assuage the alarm somewhat.

It’s somewhat obvious that the Apple Watch will take a large slice of the iOS market. iPhones represent a significant share of the total smartphone market, so the absolute numbers represented by Garmin’s 7% are probably higher in absolute terms.

Who knows how accurate this kind of market research data is anyway?

That said, Apple Watch‘s 78% share of iOS is huge and monopolistic. It clearly shows that Apple Watch users are satisfied with whatever aspect of their devices they use the watches for. It is THAT which doesn’t bode well for Garmin, at least when it comes to ‘smart’ functionality.


You are All Satisfied With Your Smartwatches

The doughnut chart then shows that 77% of smartwatch owners are happy. That’s a pretty good level of happiness.

I would have to say that I too would be happy with most of the devices that have come across my desk/wrist over recent years. If I only had an Apple Watch, I would perhaps update every 3 years, and if I had a Garmin just for sport, I’d still be using my Forerunner 935 (nine-three-five).

The 77% satisfaction stat bodes badly for all smartwatch makers relying on people buying replacement devices. It could eventually mean that people only buy a new watch when the battery fails, which would typically be 3 to 5 years depending on usage.

Watchmakers, perhaps, should consider introducing a little more redundancy to annoy us and maintain their loyal customer base.



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11 thoughts on “Garmin Struggle For Watch Market Share on iOS

  1. There’s literally no way Google has somehow amassed 70% market share of Pixel phone users with Pixel watches in 7 months. Even if we account for Fitbit devices, that stat doesn’t hold water.

    Perhaps, and only perhaps, if we include all WearOS devices ever, but then those aren’t Goolge watches per se.

    Either way, as you said, accuracy of these stats are often pretty loose at best. Usually filled with a crazy number of caveats that can be super challenging to get clarity on.

    1. you could be right

      as you say, it’s the share of phone users who have a watch. not everyone has a watch (hard to believe 😉 )

      i also vaguely remember reading something quite a while back that pixel watches were doing incredibly well and there was extra production lined up or something similarly unbelievable. (I don’t see any on wrists either !)

    2. 70% of the pixel phone owners who have a smartwatch have a pixel smartwatch. (it’s not 70% of all pixel owners)
      I don’t find that too unbelievable. pixel owners are a bit google fanboys.

      It’s the 8% who bought a Apple watch in combination with a pixel, and even 13% of Samsung phone users with an Apple watch that puzzles me.

      1. No puzzle here. It’s iPhone owners who moved to Pixel for their next phone but kept using the Apple Watch.

  2. When they released the Pixel 7 last year, they were pretty much giving away the watch and ear buds as an incentive. That would have increased their numbers I would imagine.

  3. You mention monopolistic practices implemented by Apple, and I think you are exactly right. There are features that are locked down to the Apple Watch that aren’t available to Garmin (e.g., responding to text messages).

    The experience using a Garmin watch is much better on Android – responding to text messages aside, the granularity with which you can customize notifications by app is so much better on Android than it is on iOS.

    I don’t think that either of those features above is enough to make people move from Apple Watch to Garmin in the iOS ecosystem, but it would at least improve the quality of life for the unicorns such as myself (Garmin device on an iPhone).

  4. Heh, happy to be part of the 7% Garmin & iPhone users. Different things for different purposes, and while I researched the Apple watch, still not interested in it.

  5. You would expect Apple Watch to be dominant with the iPhone users.

    Some of this stuff does not make sense. All Apple Watch users are iPhone users. You cannot use an Apple
    Watch without and iPhone. It should be 0% for the Apple Watch and the non-Apple phones.

    And like Ray said there cannot possibly be 70% penetration of pixel watch to pixel phone owners.

    1. It’s not 70% penetration of pixel watch to all pixel phone owners. It’s 70% of pixel phone owners who also own a smartwatch. That’s a limited group and it is not unbelievable that a large part of that limited group wants everything from google.

      Also, while not ideal, it is possible to use a Applewatch with non-apple smartphone. Only for the initial setup you need Apple hardware. See

  6. Looking at market share amongst owners of smartwatches that are off-brand relative to their phone might seem a bit “sore loser” from the perspective of Garmin, but it’s quite interesting I think: about a third in the Apple arena, about a quarter in the others. It even remains at “about a quarter” if we just declare “others” the on-brand case for Motorola (which wouldn’t really be the smarest idea, more desperate clasping at patterns in numerology).

    And keep in mind that these are percentages in units in use, other market data is usually in dollars of turnover. Some of those 71% amongst Pixel users could even be original kickstarter Pepples, those people tend to be sufficiently aware (though not happy I guess) of where the nominal legacy lives on and I wouldn’t be surprised if a market research questionnaire failed to include defunct brands.

  7. This isn’t entirely surprising. A large majority of people who own iPhones own them for either their simplicity, rather than the additional flexibility offered by Android devices, or for the brand. So for either reason it makes sense that such users would also want the watch made by the same company.

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