It’s hard to imagine a world that isn’t dominated by Apple and Google, but the smartwatch market now has a new number two player, Tizen. The Tizen smartwatch OS has now risen to number two in the market, despite the release of Android Wear 2.0 and a wide range of devices coming out powered by Android Wear this year, according to a new report from Strategic Analytics.
“Global smartwatch shipments at 6.2 million units in Q1 2017 were up 48% YoY. Apple’s watchOS maintained the top spot with 57% market share. Tizen with 19% share took second place from Android Wear this quarter for the first time since Q4 2015. Android Wear vendors together accounted 18% share and took the #3 rank. Our report tracks global smartwatch shipments and share for leading vendors by quarter from 2013 to Q1 2017. It can be used by device makers, component suppliers, operators, developers, content suppliers and other stakeholders to determine the size and growth rate of the global market.”
Some believe that some of this is all thanks to Samsung, who began phasing out Android Wear in favor of Tizen back in 2015. Currently, the tech giant uses Tizen on some low end smartphones as well as in its televisions.
According to the reports, Tizen now enjoys a 19 percent market share, behind Apple’s watchOS which enjoys a huge 57 percent share. Android Wear comes in at third place at 18 percent. While this may only be a lead of 1 percentage point, keep in mind this is still a huge win for Tizen. After all, it’s not often that a small player can take the lead away from Google.
This could be a testament of the quality of both smartwatches and fitness trackers being created by Samsung as well as the good support and amazing battery life provided by Tizen’s watch operating system. Or it could have something to do with the fact that Android Wear has languished in development limbo for a year after it was announced. Chances are that all these reasons play a role in the market we see today.
Tizen powered smartwatches will work with both Android and iOS smartphones, while Android Wear’s compatibility is a little more limited. This also gives the small developer a leg up in the market, as smartwatch shoppers aren’t limited by their smartphone. Still, to hold onto this lead could prove difficult.
At the same time, this news could boost them even more, as more developers take note and begin to see them as a bigger player in the market. We could see more app makers coming on board to expand the platform even more. If this happens, Google could find itself playing catch up in the market.
What do you think about this news? Do you enjoy the Tizen powered devices or do you prefer Android Wear or Apple’s watchOS? Tell us your thoughts about this and your favorite smartwatch in the comments below.