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Wearable Device Shipments Soar

SAN FRANCISCO: The global market for wearable devices grew 82.3 percent in Q4 2019, reaching a new high of 118.9 million devices shipped.

Tech analyst IDC said the growth was largely due to the proliferation of “hearables”, or ear buds, which captured 55.3 percent of the market. Other categories experiencing growth during the quarter included smartwatches, up 15.3 percent and wrist bands, up 17.7 percent.

IDC said vendors shipped a total of 336.5 million wearable devices worldwide, resulting in an 89 percent increase from the 178 million units shipped in 2018.

Apple is still looking to ship 90 million AirPod earphones, sample pictured, in 2020 and has not revised downward its forecast, despite factory closures in China during the coronavirus outbreak.

However, IDC cautioned that the market for wearables is quickly becoming top heavy as companies such as Apple and Samsung capture a greater share of the market.

Apple led the market with 43.4 million units shipped in Q4 2019, thanks to its refreshed AirPods, and its Beats products. But Apple Watch shipments declined 5.2 percent due to supply shortages.

Xiaomi ranked second, shipping 12.8 million wearables of which 73.3 percent were wristbands. Samsung was in third place.

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