Wearables Show Modest Shipments Growth and Strong Volume in 3Q23

Wearables Show Modest Shipments Growth and Strong Volume in 3Q23

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices grew 2.6% year over year during the third quarter of 2023, and reached an all-time high for the third quarter of 148.4 million units, according to IDC. Total volume even surpassed shipments in 3Q21 (142.1 million) and 3Q22 (144.6 million) when sales were driven by pandemic-related spending. The growth is largely attributed to smaller brands and emerging categories.

"It's been a decade since the wearables market got off the ground and while there has been some consolidation, the market still has plenty of diversity in terms of brands and form factors," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager of Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC. "Health and fitness tracking has come a long way since the original Fitbits and Pebble watches but the greatest driver of wearables has been the emergence of smaller and sleeker designs. Smart rings from newer brands such as Oura, Noise, BoAT, Circular, and others are expected to jumpstart the new form factor in the coming quarters while also putting pressure on the incumbent brands to innovate on health tracking."

"Smartwatches and earwear still hold pride of place in the wearables market," added Ramon Llamas, research director of Mobile Devices and AR/VR. "These still resonate with consumers and continue to find their way to first-time users, especially among the most wary and price-sensitive. This is where we can still see emerging vendors ship volumes high enough to rank among the leading brands. Combined with strong refresh cycles – including those who purchased a wearable as recently as 2020 – the wearables market has set up a strong flywheel to keep volumes growing."

Apple led the wearables market with 29.9 million shipments (20.2% share), down 26.7% YoY. Imagine Marketing was the second largest player, grabbing 9.6% of the share with 14.3 million devices and a YoY growth of 19.4%. Xiaomi rose to the third spot with 11.6 million shipments (36% growth), taking 7.8% of the market. Samsung with 10.7 million shipments and Huawei with 8.5 million took fourth and fifth place with YoY drop in shipments of 9.1% and 4.4% respectively.