Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
😄 Happy Friday! I’m back on newsletter duty after spending the last month with my baby boy. Thankfully, he’s been very easy and just sleeps a lot. We’ll see how long this lasts. Anyway, on to the news.
Fitness bands are out, the Pixel Watch is in
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
According to a report by industry tracking company Canalys, Google is bucking a major trend with the success of its latest Pixel Watch, which launched alongside the Pixel 7 series last year.
- The report claims that Google shipped 880,000 units in Q4 2022, representing a 16% growth in its smartwatch shipments compared to Q4 2021.
- Importantly, these are smartwatches only, and not fitness trackers.
- Google, which owns Fitbit, did not escape a wider decline in the fitness band market, which was down a whopping 39% in 2022 overall.
- Smartwatches, on the other hand, are up 3%, and basic watches are up 21%.
- Overall though, the wearable bands market is down 5% compared to 2021.
How did other companies fare?
- So, how did Apple, Samsung, and others fare last year? For the most part, not great.
- All major companies saw declines in Q4 2022 compared to the previous year.
- It appears that even Samsung’s latest couldn’t escape wider macroeconomic conditions, with the company seeing a 35% decline in shipments.
- That includes the Galaxy Watch 5 series, which launched in August.
- At Android Authority, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro was our pick for the best wearable of 2022, but it seems like the high price and iterative nature of the upgrade didn’t pay off with consumers.
- Naturally, Apple still dominates the market with more than 41 million watches shipped in 2022.
- Led by the Apple Watch Series 8, it was the only major company to see YoY growth, albeit at a measly 5%.
LEGO has made a big effort to cater to AFOLs (adult fans of LEGO) in recent years, most notably with the Lego Creator Expert sets (which are currently being rebranded as LEGO Icons, but that’s beside the point). However, there are certified professionals taking things to a whole new level with custom builds that turn these children’s toys into works of art.
Case in point, Japanese LEGO Certified Professional Jumpei Mitsui recreated Hokusai’s iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa block print as a massive 50,000-piece LEGO sculpture. Since it’s in 3D, it also allows you to explore angles not visible in the most recognizable ukiyo-e woodblock print in history. It’s currently on display at the Hankyu Brick Museum in Osaka, although those of you in the US can catch it at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston later this month, or at the Seattle Art Museum at the end of the year.
Keep building 🧱,
Nick Fernandez, Editor.