Shipments of wearable devices reach 118.9 million units in the fourth quarter and 336.5 million for 2019, according to IDC

March 10, 2020 - FRAMINGHAM, MASS., USA: The worldwide market for wearable devices grew 82.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019 (4Q19), reaching a new high of 118.9 million devices shipped according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. The stunning growth was largely due to the proliferation of hearables, which captured 55.3% of the entire market. Other popular categories that also experienced growth during the quarter included watches (15.3% year-over-year growth) and wrist bands (17.7% growth).

Wrist-worn devices captured 43.8% of the total market, down from 68.6% last holiday season. Though the share for wrist-worn devices has declined, the category itself grew 16.3% over the same period. For the entire year, vendors shipped a total of 336.5 million wearable devices worldwide, resulting in an 89.0% increase from the 178.0 million units shipped in 2018.

"2019 marked a strong step forward for the worldwide wearables market," said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Wearables Team. "Hearables were the big story due to new product introductions and more smartphones cutting the cord with traditional earphones, practically driving users to purchase a hearable. Not to be overshadowed were smartwatches and fitness trackers, which both posted record annual volumes from an abundance of lower-cost models."

"The market for wearables is also quickly becoming very top heavy as companies such as Apple and Samsung capture a greater share of the market," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "While these giants put pressure on the rest of the market, there continues to be plenty of innovation and differentiaion amongst the smaller brands and this long tail of the market will carry on for the forseeable future."

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