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Wearables market booms throughout Q4 and all of 2021

The fourth quarter of 2021 saw the wearables market grow 10.8% over the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable device Tracker.

Shipments grew to 171 million units in the quarter, and totalled 533.6 million during 2021, a whopping 20% increase over the previous year.

As usual, hearables dominated the wearables category, with shipment volume growing by 9.6% in the quarter and accounting for just under two thirds of the entire wearables market. Watches saw growth thanks to the implementation of extra customization options and features, while smaller categories such as accessories, glasses and more nearly doubled, with growth reaching 94.1%, thanks to products such as the Oura ring and Facebook/Ray-Ban Stories.

Credit: IDC

Credit: IDC

Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers states that “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…However, the supply crutch also forced many companies to think about services and this is likely going to play a key role in the wearables market moving forward as OEMs can experiment with their business models by subsidizing the hardware purchase though on-going services revenue.”

As usual, Apple dominated the market, with 34.9% share during the quarter. This is largely thanks to delays on Series 7 watches form Q3 to Q4, as well as the launch of the AirPods 3. However, growing performance from other brands such as Samsung, Huawei and more demonstrate that demand is diversifying, allowing companies to better compete with Apple by offering similar features at lower price points.

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