Hearables, Watches Drive Massive Growth in Wearables
Wearables saw substantial growth in the second quarter of 2021, up
32.3% year over year, despite an overall slowing of consumer spending
Lower price points were a significant contributing factor to the
growth, according to a new
report from market research firm IDC.
"As the market has matured, so have vendor product
portfolios," said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's
Wearables Team, in a prepared statement. "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."
A total of 114.2 million wearables shipped in the second quarter,
compared with 86.3 million in the same period last year. Wrist bands
remained flat, but hearables and watches grew by 39% (each) in the
"Both the watch and hearables categories have seen a sharp
rise in adoption due to new entrants as well as discounting on older
models," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility
and Consumer Device Trackers, in a prepared statement. "Watches
priced between $200 and $300 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."
Apple was once again the top wearables manufacturer, with 32.2
million shipments. Among the top 5 manufacturers, Apple showed the
least amount of growth at 9.3%. Apple held the largest share of the
market in Q2 2021, at 28.2%, but that was down from 34.1% in the same
quarter last year.
Xiaomi, in second place, shipped 14 million units, up 37.8%.
Huawei was in third with 11.7 million units, up 38.5%.
Samsung, in fourth position, shipped 9.7 million units, up 37.4%.
Imagine Marketing, in fifth position, saw the greatest growth
among the top-5 players. Imagine shipped 4.6 million units, up 478%
over the same period last year.
All other manufacturers combined shipped 41.9 million wearables,
up 38.2% over last year.
Further details can be found on IDC's
About the Author
David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.
He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).