Apple and Samsung Lead in Brand Loyalty for Smartwatches, Fitbit Struggles to Retain Users

  • CCS Insight’s new research highlights loyalty trends in the smartwatch market, helping to guide product development and marketing strategies.
  • Samsung and Apple smartwatch owners overwhelmingly plan to stick with their brand when they next purchase, at 85% and 95%, respectively.
  • Only 51% of Fitbit smartwatch owners expect to stay with the brand when they upgrade, with Apple looking like it will be the main recipient of this migration.
  • All smartwatch owners are broadly loyal to their brand, but Apple boasts the most fanatical users.
  • Propensity to buy second-hand smartwatches is on the rise, signalling further growth for Apple devices in this market.

London, 12 February 2024: A new survey by CCS Insight unveils fresh insights into the smartwatch market, revealing entrenched brand loyalties among Apple and Samsung users. The survey delves into the reasons behind these loyalty patterns, offering valuable insights for the industry.

The research highlights a staunch loyalty to people’s existing brands, with Apple users showing the most ardent support. When asked about their next smartwatch purchase, an overwhelming 95% of Apple and 85% of Samsung users plan to continue with their current brands.

Fitbit, the next most popular smartwatch brand in the sample, could struggle to hold on to its users, with only 51% of current owners intending to stay with the brand for their next upgrade. Just over half of those intending to switch from Fitbit to another make said they’d be getting an Apple smartwatch.

Kane McKenna, Analyst at CCS Insight, explains, “Although Samsung smartwatch owners generally exhibit strong brand loyalty, a portion of them are being swayed by the Apple ecosystem. In our survey, 63% of respondents highlighted the importance of their smartwatch working well with their smartphone”.

“There is, of course, no Fitbit-branded smartphone on the market. This could go some way to explaining the significant churn that Fitbit faces when its users look to upgrade their smartwatch, with the majority intending to move to Apple and the iOS ecosystem”, he adds.

The research encompasses a broad spectrum of smartwatch owners as well as non-owners. For prospective smartwatch buyers, a key feature when deciding on a possible brand is how well it monitors core health metrics, such as heart rate and sleep tracking. Those who own an iPhone but not yet a smartwatch strongly believe that Apple smartwatches are the best-in-class for these features. Fitbit also performed well with this group of respondents, with almost one-third believing Fitbit devices are the best in this category. By comparison, just 1% believe Samsung lead in health tracking.

Of concern for Samsung is that Android phone users yet to buy a smartwatch deem Fitbit to be the superior option for tracking core health indicators, placing Samsung and Apple at similar levels otherwise.

But perhaps more worrying for the Korean manufacturer is Apple’s strength in the second-hand device market, which makes cheaper pre-owned Apple smartwatches more widely available.

McKenna observes, “Our survey shows that Samsung smartwatch owners are more likely than those with an Apple Watch to see value as an important consideration in purchasing their device. The wider availability of second-hand Apple devices lowers the cost barrier for consumers not only owning an Apple Watch, but also switching to the iOS ecosystem completely across multiple product categories”.

The research shows that just over half of potential smartwatch buyers would consider a pre-owned device, echoing trends from across CCS Insight’s wider research, which has found strong consumer interest in second-hand devices. This is usually because of concerns about the cost of new technology, as well as a view that older devices are just as good as new ones.

McKenna concludes, “We expect the slowdown in smartwatch innovation to contribute to more and more buyers looking for second-hand devices, as new generations of wearables launched in 2023 have offered little to set them apart from predecessors”.

The full findings of the survey are available now. Contact CCS Insight for more information.

Notes to Editors

CCS Insight is renowned for its analysis of the connected devices sector, extending its expertise into the smartwatch market.

Field work for the survey was conducted in November 2023. Engaging with a broad pool of smartwatch users, the report unveils key insights on consumer preferences, brand retention and the emerging trend toward second-hand devices. This research not only highlights the loyalty dynamics between leading brands like Apple, Samsung and Fitbit, but also presents a view of the shifting contours of the smartwatch market.

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global analyst company specializing in the technology and telecom sectors. The firm offers comprehensive services tailored to meet the individual needs of its clients, helping them make sense of the connected world and optimize their strategies. With a focus on current and future trends, CCS Insight provides valuable insights and analysis to navigate the complex technology landscape. Follow @CCSInsight on X or learn more at

For further information contact:

Mark Jordan
Harvard PR
Tel: + 44 (0) 7931987466

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