2020 was a remarkable year for the wearables market. With more people working and learning remotely, demand for such devices rose an astonishing 28.4 percent to 444.4 million units, according to IDC.
The research firm attributed much of the growth to consumer demand as disposable income was reallocated from other leisure activities.
Jitesh Ubrani, Research Manager of IDC Mobile Device Trackers, noted that the pandemic has also been good for the market as it has put health and fitness at the forefront of many consumers’ minds.
“In-home fitness programs are quickly becoming a crucial component of the wearables offering for many companies. Beyond that, the proliferation of health sensors such as skin temperature, ECG, and heart rate tracking are allowing users and health professionals to better understand the onset and tracking of diseases,” he said.
Hearables emerged as the largest category of wearable devices with 64.2 percent share of shipment in Q4.
“2020 was the year that hearables became the must-have device. “Hearables provided a new degree of privacy, particularly during home quarantine but also while out in public. Meeting that demand was a long list of vendors with an equally long list of devices, spanning the range of feature sets and price points,” said Ramon T Llamas, Research Director of IDC’s Wearables Team.
It is the strength of hearables that has seen a surprising inclusion in the top 5 wearable brand. India’s BoAt, which focuses almost exclusively on hearables, glided in at fifth spot with 5.4 million units shipped in Q4. This is all the more impressive given that the company operates only in India.
Apple stayed at the top of the pile with 36.2 percent share in Q4 — more than the rest of the top five combined. Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei filled the other top rungs.