IDC cited Covid-19 (coronavirus) as a driver of wearable shipments during Q2, crediting consumer demand for health trackers and hearables for a 14 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of units shifted.

A total of 86.2 million units were shipped in the period, with wireless earphones (hearables) accounting for 60 per cent, up 32.6 per cent on Q2 2019.

IDC research VP of consumer strategies David Myhrer noted hearable devices registered “much stronger and broader demand than smartwatches and fitness trackers”, but added the company’s data made it “clear just how discretionary a purchase” the latter devices are.

“Demand among those with low incomes has dried up almost completely. Meanwhile, consumers at the top of the market remain bullish”, he explained.

Smartwatch and wristband shipments dropped 4.4 per cent to 33.7 million units.

Globally, many organisations have started using wearables to combat the outbreak, tracking symptoms and to warn when social distancing measures were not adhered to, research manager Jitesh Ubrani added.

He emphasised users’ uptake of online or in-app fitness sessions offered by wearable vendors as health topped use cases.

Apple maintained its crown in the market, shipping a total of 29.4 million units, followed by Huawei with nearly 11 million and Xiaomi on 10.1 million.