Despite the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global smartwatch market continued to grow in the first quarter of 2020.

Counterpoint Research, a global market research company, announced on July 8 that the global smartwatch market grew 25 percent on year in the first quarter of 2020.

By region, North America, the largest smartwatch market, recorded a 30 percent growth rate, higher than the global average. Except India, the market continued to grow relatively slow in Asia. The Indian market accounts for about 3 percent of the global smartwatch market but grew about 2.5 times compared to the same period of 2019, showing its big future growth potential.

The expansion of the smartwatch market contrasted with a slowdown in the smartphone market. The size of the global smartwatch market is only 5 percent of the global smartphone market, and has yet to enter a full-fledged growth stage. Experts attribute the rapid expansion of the global smartwatch market to the reinforced health and fitness functions offered by new models and their stylish designs.

In particular, the smartwatch market is expected to grow further in the second half, in light of its fast expansion in the first half when consumer sentiment has been weakened by the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Samsung Electronics is also planning to penetrate the smartwatch market in the second half of the year with the Galaxy Watch 3, which is expected to be unveiled at a Galaxy Unpack event scheduled for Aug. 5.

"So far, advanced markets such as North America and Europe are leading the smartwatch market,” said Lim Soo-jung, a researcher at Counterpoint Research “But as we have learned through the case of smartphones, smartwatches can gradually spread to China, India and other Asian regions."