The analyst firm, IDC, has announced that the worldwide wearables market will reach 305.2 million units by the end of the year, with figures increasing to 489.1 million units in 2023. The firm said the increase in wearables is due to continued demand, a proliferation of such devices, and declining prices. This year’s expected figures are up 71.4% from the 178 million units shipped in 2018.
Commenting on the findings, Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC’s Wearables team, said:
“Wearables started out as a device for early adopters and morphed into multiple devices for the mass market. In the process, wearables have accomplished several objectives: enable greater convenience, surface new insights, and keep the user connected in ways that other devices – even the smartphone – have been unable to do. Continued development and innovation will cater to current customers and attract new ones in the years to come.”
IDC does not only refer to smartwatches when discussing wearables. Its figures also include wristbands and earwear. The firm clarified that for earwear to be considered a wearable it must offer functionality beyond audio such as including a smart assistant, health and fitness tracking, or audio experience enhancement.
In 2019, IDC expects to see 139.4 million earware shipments (45.7%), 69.3 million smartwatch shipments (22.7%), and 68.2 million wristband shipments (22.4%). The remaining 9.2% of shipments are defined as other. In 2023, shipments of earwear devices are forecasted to jump to 273.7 million (56%), smartwatches will account for 109.2 million shipments (22.3%), and wristbands will be at 69.7 million shipments (14.3%).