Canalys tipped global shipments of wearable bands and ear-worn products to grow by 28 per cent to 558 million units in 2021, as customers opt for smaller and less costly devices in place of smartphone upgrades due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The analytics company said True Wireless Stereo (TWS) ear-worn devices will increase by 39 per cent to 350 million units, while wearables are expected to grow 12 per cent to more than 200 million.
Research analyst Cynthia Chen explained Covid-19 “will prolong replacement cycles for smartphones” and spur consumers to seek cheaper options.
She noted the expected boost also factors in an increased focus on health and wellbeing, alongside a rise in engagement in indoor activities including learning and working from home during lockdowns.
Canalys tipped Chinese smartphone vendors to expand to overseas markets in the wearable and ear-wear categories, and noted some manufacturers were already leveraging cross-border e-commerce platforms to make direct shipments available from China or Hong Kong.
Chan also warned of subsequent waves of IoT infections associated with the category expansion, a trend previously highlighted by Nokia.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back