The global wearables market grew 35.1% year over year during the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20) with total shipments reaching 125 million units according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
The surge was driven by seasonality, new product launches, and the COVID-19 pandemic. New products from the likes of Apple, Samsung, and others helped renew interest in popular categories such as smartwatches and hearables. Meanwhile, consumer spend on electronics also increased during recent months as spending on travel, dining out, and other leisure activities decreased. This shift in spending was another catalyst for the wearables market.
“Many countries began easing restrictions and opening up their economies during the third quarter, which helped bolster outdoor activity as well as demand for wearables,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement. “Meanwhile, a broader range of price points from numerous vendors meant that there was something for everyone.”
“The double-digit growth not only indicates strong demand, but also suggests that many people got a wearable device for the first time in both emerging and developed markets,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research director, Mobile Devices and AR/VR, in a statement. “Consider what this means: a larger installed base of wearable device users going forward and a larger opportunity for device replacements in the years to come. And, as some wearers own multiple devices – like earwear and wristwear – the wearables market will enjoy sustained demand.”
Apple led the market with 33.1% share during the quarter. AirPods and Apple Watches were hugely popular due to pandemic driven demand. The company’s expanding Apple Watch lineup also ensured that devices were available at multiple price points including new mid-level products such as the Watch SE.
Xiaomi followed in second place with 17 million units shipped, 12.8 million of which were basic wristbands. The low price point along with international expansion combined to move the company forward with 26.4% year-over-year growth.
Note: For an earworn device to be considered a hearable by IDC’s definition, it must offer functionality beyond audio, like a smart assistant, health and fitness tracking, or audio experience enhancement.
MacDailyNews Take: Of course, mixing $29 Xiaomi wristbands with full-featured Apple Watches and AirPods is a rather meaningless exercise, but Apple still wins!