Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel product lines set to challenge Apple Watch

Samsung and Google are eyeing the smart watch market, hoping to take market share from Apple Watch. Recent leaks indicate Samsung is likely to release Galaxy Watch 5 – including a more premium Pro version for the first time. Meanwhile, Google announced its plans to introduce its first Pixel Watch later this fall. Both products clearly have Apple Watch in their sights.

The leak is the strongest indication yet that a new iteration in the Galaxy Watch family is in the works and likely slated for a release later this year, possibly as early as August. It is expected to release with three different models – the standard Galaxy Watch 5 in 40mm and 44mm sizes and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The Pro model has a battery that is roughly 60% larger than the largest battery available for the Galaxy Watch 4, among other upgrades.

While Samsung will be releasing its fifth generation in their Galaxy Watch line of smartwatches, the Pixel Watch will mark Google’s first foray into the smart watch market. With hardware investments including the acquisitions of Fitbit completed in 2021 and Fossil’s smartwatch technology in 2019, and their own Wear OS software, the Pixel Watch is the culmination of a product development strategy bent on challenging Apple in the smartwatch market.

Pixel Watch is expected to release this fall, but Google has otherwise kept details for their new product scarce. For the time being, however, Google and Fitbit have stated that they will continue to offer two separate product lines, positioning the Fitbit devices for exercise enthusiasts while Pixel models will provide LTE connectivity and greater smartwatch functionality.

Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that Samsung lags far behind Apple and Fitbit in market share among those who own smartwatches. Among those who own at least one smartwatch, only 26% own a Samsung model compared to 57% that own an Apple Watch and 38% that own a Fitbit. Additionally, the data reveals some market acceleration, as 11% of US consumers plan to purchase a smartwatch in the next three months, but this jumps to 20% when looking at people who already own a smartwatch, indicating a large number of owners are looking to upgrade or replace their current model—with Samsung Watch owners expressing slightly higher interest in purchasing a new smartwatch (26%).

Can the new products from Samsung or Google prompt consumers to switch brands when they look for a new smartwatch or offer something new to attract non-owners?

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