The Global Market for wearable devices is expected to ship a total of 396.0 million units in 2020 according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. This marks a 14.5% increase from the 345.9 million units shipped in 2019. Looking ahead, IDC forecasts shipment volume to have a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% and total 637.1 million units in 2024.
The first half of 2020 delivered positive results despite the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. Even though vendors scaled down production and end users were quarantined, demand for wearables remained steady. The market was propelled by near-record demand for hearables, which was enough to offset slightly lower demand for watches and wristbands. The second half of 2020 is on pace to continue this trend and with the launch of new products – including hearables, watches, and wristbands – from multiple vendors, the wearables market is on track to reach nearly 400 million units this year.
Beyond devices, one trend to watch is the emergence of services to complement wearables. Apple’s recently announced Fitness+, Amazon’s new Halo, and Fitbit’s Fitbit Premium connect users with health and fitness content (i.e., guided workouts, coaching, and diet advice) while incorporating data from their wearable device. Several other companies are taking a different route, showing enterprise customers how to keep their employees physically distant and detect early signs of potential illness. These services and others to come will increase the demand for wearables.
“Wearable devices and services will evolve together in the coming quarters. Wearables are the perfect device to collect user data and services provide guidance and actionable insight. Together, they offer the user a virtual coach to make better decisions and achieve their goals.”Ramon T. Llamas, research director, Mobile Devices and AR/VR
“Device makers are also laying the groundwork that will allow consumers to use multiple wearables in conjunction with each other. Imagine tying positional and audio input from hearables with health metrics from the wrist to gauge a user’s level of attention or excitement in the surrounding enviorment. That’s a powerful new experience that can bring added utility to consumers and vendors alike.”Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers