Electronic Products & Technology

Wearable device shipments grows globally

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IDC tracker report indicates growth spurt of 8.8% year over year in the first quarter of 2024

The wearables market began 2024 with a growth spurt as global shipments of wearable devices grew 8.8% year over year in the first quarter (1Q24) to 113.1 million units, according to new data from the International Data Corp. (IDC). Despite the shipment growth, average selling prices (ASPs) declined for the fifth quarter in a row, dropping 11% in 1Q24 as emerging markets gained traction and as the economy put downward pressure on consumer spending.

“The lack of major innovation in the premium segment has allowed tier-2 brands to narrow the gap across the board,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Until we get to a point where new sensors or algorithms enable prescriptive insights or the tracking of new datapoints such as blood pressure or glucose, consumers will likely gravitate towards the mid to value price points and this is where brands have continued to invest by diversifying their pricing ladders.”

“It’s important to pay close attention to smaller, regional vendors,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research director with IDC’s Wearables team. “The appetite for wearables is not lost on emerging markets, but higher prices on wearables from premium brands make them cost prohibitive for many. That has opened the door for local brands to introduce low-cost yet feature-laden devices to meet this unsatiated demand. That’s how companies like Xiaomi and Imagine Marketing have established positions among the top vendors worldwide.”

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Company Highlights

Apple maintained the top position although it was held back by poor macroeconomic conditions, a temporary ban on certain watch models, and the lack of newer AirPods. Overall, Apple Watch shipments declined 19.1% year over year while hearables including AirPods and Beats declined 18.8% during the quarter.

Xiaomi ranked second with 43.4% year over year growth thanks to an easy comparison over a 16% decline in the first quarter of 2023. The company’s value-oriented products resonated with users and the recent re-entry into Wear OS watches has helped the company become the third largest vendor within the Google ecosystem and grow its overall smartwatch average selling prices.

Huawei captured the third spot, surpassing Samsung, thanks to the return of its smartphone business, which had a positive impact on wearables due to bundling. However, the company’s sales are heavily concentrated in China with about three quarters coming from the region.

Samsung slipped into fourth place. The launch of the Galaxy Fit 3 as well as success with lower-priced hearables helped the company achieve market beating growth although its core smartwatch volume declined 5.1% during the quarter.

Imagine Marketing (boAt) rounded out the top five. The Indian brand known for its extreme value-oriented products managed to grow its hearables volume by 17.5% but its smartwatches saw a tremendous decline of 61.3% due to extreme competition within the home country.

Top 5 Wearable Device Companies by Shipment Volume, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q1 2024 (shipments in millions)
Company 1Q24 Shipments 1Q24 Market Share 1Q23 Shipments 1Q23 Market Share Year-Over-Year Growth
1. Apple 20.6 18.2% 25.4 24.5% -18.9%
2. Xiaomi 11.8 10.5% 8.2 7.9% 43.4%
3. Huawei 10.9 9.6% 6.3 6.1% 72.4%
4. Samsung 10.6 9.3% 9.4 9.0% 13.0%
5. Imagine Marketing 6.1 5.4% 6.4 6.2% -4.8%
Others 53.1 46.9% 48.2 46.4% 10.1%
Total 113.1 100.0% 104.0 100.0% 8.8%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearables Tracker, June 4, 2024

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