March 22, 2022
BEIJING – The worldwide wearables market hit a new record high in the fourth quarter of 2021 as shipments reached 171 million units, up 10.8 percent from the same quarter of the previous year, according to the latest data from the International Data Corp (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
The data from IDC also showed shipments for the full year 2021 totaled 533.6 million units, an increase of 20 percent over 2020.
IDC said new products and continued demand for health and fitness tracking products, along with hearables, helped the market maintain its momentum.
Hearables, or smart earphones, were once again the leading category as shipment volume grew 9.6 percent during the quarter and accounted for almost two-thirds of the entire wearables market. Meanwhile, watches continued to steal share from wristbands, as the larger form factor offers consumers more features and customization. Lesser-known categories such as glasses (those without displays), rings, connected shoes, and others managed to grow 94.1 percent during the quarter, largely due to products like the Oura Ring and Facebook/Ray-Ban Stories.
“While supply has been a constant battle for many companies during 2021, many of the issues began to subside during the quarter and allowed brands to ship record volumes while broadening their product lines,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “However, the supply crunch also forced many companies to think about services, and this is likely going to play a key role in the wearables market.”
“Although Apple remained far out front for the year, another telling sign of the market is the long list of vendors coming afterward,” says Ramon T. Llamas, research director, Mobile Devices and AR/VR at IDC. “Samsung, Huawei, and Imagine Marketing all posted market-beating year-over-year growth, as did our collective ‘Others’ group. That shows demand is spreading out to other companies and products, all of which bring added diversity and price competition to attract and retain more customers. And because there is still strong demand from first-time users, vendors can court them with features similar to Apple’s products but at much lower price points.”