Monday, April 15, 2024

Global shipments of wearable devices hit record high — IDC

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices grew 2.6% year over year during the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23) and reached an all-time high for the third quarter of 148.4 million units, according to research firm IDC.

Total volume even surpassed shipments in 3Q21 (142.1 million) and 3Q22 (144.6 million) when sales were driven by pandemic-related spending. The growth is largely attributed to the rise of smaller brands and emerging categories.

“It’s been a decade since the wearables market got off the ground and while there has been some consolidation, the market still has plenty of diversity in terms of brands and form factors,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for mobility and consumer device trackers at IDC.

“Health and fitness tracking has come a long way since the original Fitbits and Pebble watches but the greatest driver of wearables has been the emergence of smaller and sleeker designs. Smart rings from newer brands such as Oura, Noise, BoAT, Circular and others are expected to jumpstart the new form factor in the coming quarters while also putting pressure on the incumbent brands to innovate on health tracking.”

“Smartwatches and earwear still hold pride of place in the wearables market,” added Ramon Llamas, research director, mobile devices and AR/VR at IDC.

“These still resonate with consumers and continue to find their way to first-time users, especially among the most wary and price sensitive. This is where we can still see emerging vendors ship volumes high enough to rank among the leading brands. Combined with strong refresh cycles – including those who purchased a wearable as recently as 2020 – the wearables market has set up a strong fly wheel to keep volumes growing.”


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