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Wearable bands set to be popular this year with shipment growth of 5% predicted

Woman wearing Samsung Galaxy Watch

Wearable bands are set to do well this year, with Canalys predicting that shipments will expand 5% this year despite a slight decline in the first quarter. It predicts that smartwatch growth will reach 4% and the basic watch segment will reach 10%. Basic bands, however, are set to see their shipments fall by 6% in 2024.

To clear up the terminology a bit here, when Canalys says basic watches and basic bands, it still means what most people consider to be a smartwatch but one of those devices that are more limited in terms of third-party apps and functionality. Basic bands and basic watches differ mainly because of their screen size.

Commenting on what’s going on, Canalys Research Analyst Jack Leathem said:

“Basic watches continue to grow in popularity globally, reaching their highest-ever share of 48% of the wearable band market in Q1, with a forecasted 46% shipment share for the full year. As user experience, tracking, and smart features of basic watches progress, more consumers are opting for these affordable models to meet most of their needs. The longer battery life of basic watches is a significant draw for many users. However, this basic watch growth is expected to be overshadowed by smartwatch expansion in the long-term, which will address more sophisticated use-cases as battery life and cost competitiveness improve in the smartwatch segment”

Two important players in the basic watch category are Xiaomi and Huawei, both of which offer affordable products. By appealing to price-conscious consumers, they were able to grow their basic watch shipments by 37% and 46%, respectively, during the first quarter of the year.

During the same period, smartwatches took a hit and declined 9% during the quarter, but they’re expected to rebound later in the year when companies launch upgraded devices.

This year, Canalys believes that basic bands will see a 6% decline in annual growth, basic watches will grow by 10%, and smartwatches will grow by 4%. It has also given predictions for next year, and it expects basic bands to fall by 5%, basic watches to grow by 12%, and smartwatches to increase by a much bigger 15%. The total annual growth of the segment will be 4.8% this year and 10.2% next year, according to these predictions.

Source: Canalys

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