The International Data Corporation has come out with its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report for the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020). The IDC report says that the global shipments for wearables stood at 125 million units globally, a 35.1 percent growth from the same time last year. IDC said that the surge in wearables was driven several factors like by seasonality, new product launches, the global pandemic, and more.
IDC said that new products from brands like Apple, Samsung, and others helped renew interest in popular categories such as smartwatches and hearables. The analytics firm mentioned that the spike came as many countries across the world began to ease restrictions and opening up their economies in the third quarter. This helped boost outdoor activity, as well as demand for wearables. Ramon T Llamas, research director for mobile devices and AR/VR at IDC said that the report also suggests that many people got a wearable device for the first time in both emerging and developed markets. "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," Llamas said.
Among brands, Apple emerged as the market leader with a 33.1 percent share during Q3 2020. Both the AirPods and Apple Watch saw strong pandemic-driven demand during Q3 2020. Apple expanding its Apple Watch lineup also ensured that the wearables were available at multiple price points. The Apple Watch SE was launched in September as the more affordable Apple Watch option. Xiaomi was second with 17 million shipped units. Out of those, 12.8 million were basic wristbands like the popular Mi Band. Xiaomi registered a 26.4 percent year on year growth, owing to a low price point alongside international availability.
Huawei ranked third with 13.7 million shipped units, despite facing a US-imposed ban that discourages companies from doing business with the Chinese manufacturer. After Huawei, Samsung came fourth with 8.4 million shipments in Q3 2020. IDC said that Samsung's strategy to penetrate further into the earwear market with multiple brands and more products continues to pay off. Out of the 8.4 million shipments, 2.6 million were smartwatches, according to IDC data.
Among all the brands, Indian brand Boat performed surprisingly well as it took the fifth spot. Boat tied with FitBit as both the brands took up a 2.6 percent each market share during Q3 2020. IDC said that Boat focuses solely on the Indian market and is primarily a headphones brand. IDC said that post-lockdown in India, Boat has benefitted from to a strong marketing campaign and tie-ins with local cricket teams, indicating at the brand's partnership with some of the top cricketers in India. However, IDC said that it still lacks the global presence and supply chain of its many competitors.