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Wearables Up More Than 30% In 2Q21, Apple Still #1

Global shipments of wearables are up by almost a third year-on-year as Apple continues to dominate the market.

Data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker showed 32.3 per cent growth in shipment volumes year-on-year to 114.2 million units in the second quarter of 2021, with hearables and watches each up 39 per cent.

According to Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, new entrants – as well as discounts on older models – have fuelled the watches and hearables growth.

“Watches priced between $200 and $300 [USD] have gained 10 percentage points since last year thanks to devices like the Watch SE, Series 3, Versa 3, and the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

“Meanwhile, hearables in the sub-$100 space have enjoyed a similar trend largely thanks to brands such as Xiaomi, BoAt, Huawei, JBL, and JLAB as they have succeeded at making premium features such as active noise control (ANC) more affordable,” he said.

Apple remained on top with 28.2 per cent of the market, despite a slowdown in growth to 9.3 per cent, followed by Chinese brands Xiaomi at 12.3 per cent and Huawei at 10.2 per cent; Samsung at 8.5 per cent; and Imagine Marketing – which owns the BoAt brand popular in India – at 4.1 per cent; all other brands comprised 36.7 per cent between them.

Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC’s Wearables Team, says variety in feature sets and price points has contributed to market success.

“Offering a selection of good/better/best devices at staggered price points allows companies to approach more customers. Over time, features once reserved for only the high-end devices will eventually make their way down to the mid-tier and the mass market.

“This, in turn, will lure people to upgrade or purchase their first devices, thus placing wearables – both watches and hearables – on a steady treadmill of growth and upgrades,” he said.

Wristbands remained flat over the quarter, with consumers transitioning to watches amid a dearth of notable product launches.

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