Global shipments for wearable grew by 9.9% during Q3, 2021, reaching 138.4 million units, reports new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC).
The report says the hearables (neckbank, TWS) category grew 26.5% compared to last year and accounted for 64.7% of wearable device shipments.
The wrist-worn wearables gained 34.7% of the market, adds the report. While the category has recently been led by Xiaomi’s low-cost bands, the company was dethroned by Apple and Huawei in Q3, 2021.
Demand has been slowly shifting away from wristbands towards watches as consumers increasingly want a more capable device and as the gap in pricing narrows,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
Apple captured the top position in Q3, 2021 despite a 35.3% decline in Apple Watch shipments during the quarter, thanks to hearables from AirPods and Beats.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 Series has been well received, thanks to the move from Tizen to Wear OS. In addition to that, the South Korean tech giant is focused on growing its wearables business by bundling its devices.
Xiaomi’s shipments fell 23.8% during the quarter as the company’s reliance on wristbands and consumer preference for watches acted against it.
Huawei managed to grow with the help of its hearables business as wristbands and watches combined declined 5% during the quarter.
Imagine Marketing, the Indian company behind the brand boAt, once again found its way into the global top 5. Recently, the company has also launched watches, which now account for 10% of its shipments.
Ubrani adds, “The number of watches sold for under $100 is now equal to wristbands, which have dominated this price band in the past. Growth amongst Indian and Chinese brands has been leading the low-end watch space while Apple, Huawei, and Samsung maintain a hold at the high-end.”
“While the entire wrist-worn wearable market declined year over year, the market for watches grew 4.3%,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC’s Wearables Team.
“And even as smartwatches (devices capable of running third-party applications) have been very popular, it’s the other watches – including kids’ watches, exercise watches, hybrid watches, and others – that drove the market. That’s not to say that smartwatches are losing steam; on the contrary, Apple’s late release of the Watch Series 7 and WearOS relaunching itself among its many hardware vendors will soon generate renewed interest.”