According to research firm IDC, wearable device shipments in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) region slightly increased by 1.8% in 2022 to 259.1 million units, recording its lowest annual growth ever.
Some major vendors drove the wearables market in 3Q22 through product updates, but with the continued deterioration of market demand, vendors took a more conservative approach in 4Q22 to clean up inventory, resulting in a year-on-year decrease of 8.3% in the last quarter of 2022.
“Although the Asia-Pacific wearable market experienced volatility in 2022, rising prices of other commodities, reduced consumer spending, and China’s lockdowns have limited the market demand for wearables,” Jone Yang, senior market analyst for devices research at IDC Asia-Pacific, said.
“We believe the market will return to normal once the economy and demand recovers. IDC predicts that the APeJ wearable market will grow by 15.2% year-on-year in 2023, with smart watches being the fastest growing among the main categories and India will surpass China to become the country with the largest shipments of smart watches in the region this year,” Yang added.
Among the top 5 vendors, Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Samsung have seen their market share decline for consecutive years, mainly due to the rapid expansion of some affordable Indian brands like Imagine Marketing, Nexxbase and Fire – Boltt, as well as the overseas market exploration of some Chinese smartphone brands such as OnePlus and Oppo.
Smartwatches, the only category that maintained positive growth, grew 23.3% during 2022, reaching 80.0 million units.
Apple surpassed Huawei to become the market leader. Huawei ranked second mainly due to market constraints in China.
India’s Nexxbase and Fire-Boltt, followed by China’s BBK rounded out the Top 5.
Earwear, the largest category of wearables, declined slightly at 0.5% year on year, although the True Wireless portion maintained a healthy growth.
However, wrist bands, the third largest category, continued to decline due to competition from smartwatches.