The latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report has found that the global wearable devices market grew 31.4% during Q4-2018, with 59.3 million units shipped.
New wearable launches during the months leading up to the holiday season and new smartphone launches, many of which were compatible with wearables from leading brands, were responsible for the booming wearable market.
In total, 172.2 million wearables were shipped throughout 2018, suggesting a growth of 27.5%. Ear-worn devices, which covered almost a quarter of the market during the year, have been a major factor in the growth of wearables. To be more precise, the ear-worn devices market grew 66.4%, capturing 21.9% share of the market.
Among many form factors available during the quarter, smartwatches saw a 55.2% growth compared to the same quarter in the previous year and accounted for 34.3% of the overall market. However, wristbands accounted for 30% of the market, as recent launches from Xiaomi, Huawei, and Fitbit continuously drove the category forward.
Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's wearables division, said: “Smartwatches, meanwhile, grew 54.3% and accounted for 29.8% of all wearable device shipments in 2018. Apple accounted for nearly half the market and followed by a long list of companies that posted double- and triple-digit growth. What resulted from this was a growing list of devices available at multiple price-points to meet the needs of a diverse market.”
A report from Gartner in December had predicted a 25.8% year over year increase in the global shipments of wearable devices in 2019, valued at £176.3m. It was also projected that the end-user spending on wearable devices will reach to £32.9m in the year. It had also estimated that shipments of ear-worn devices will take over as the top wearables segment with 158 million units shipped compared with 115 million smartwatch shipments in 2022.
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