Commentary

Coronavirus Slowing Growth Of Wearables Market

The coronavirus is taking its toll on the wearables market, at least from a growth perspective.

The market is now projected to grow 9% this year, reaching 368 million devices shipped, according to the latest forecast by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

This follows global shipments of wearable devices growing a whopping 89% in 2019.

Although the first half of this year will see slower shipments, they still are projected to reach 527 million units by the end of 2014, growing 9% a year until then.

Watches and wristbands are expected to decline 13% during the first quarter, as factories in China struggle to catch up.

Smartwatches and ear-worn devices are still pushing the market along.

“Hearables have become the must-have wearable device for end users and are available at a broad range of price points and feature sets,” stated Ramon T. Llamas, research director of IDC’s wearables team. “Smartwatches have gradually gained greater salience not only for health and fitness but simply for the convenience of having information surfaced to the wrist, and convenience is what owners appreciate the most in their wearables."

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Shipments of ear-worn devices are projected to reach 204 million units in 2020, accounting for 55% market share of all wearables. Watches follow at 95 million units for 26% share and wristbands at 65 million units for 18% share.

The current slowdown of wearable shipments is just a blip.

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