Smaller vendors, fresh form factors fuel wearables - Mobile World Live

Smaller vendors, fresh form factors fuel wearables

28 MAY 2021

Wearables shipments surpassed the 100 million mark in Q1 for the first time, driven by uptake of devices from smaller vendors and demand for newer form factors, IDC figures showed.

The company placed shipments at 105 million units, 34.4 per cent higher than Q1 2020.

While dominant players Apple and Samsung maintained double-digit market shares, IDC highlighted offerings from smaller companies as the main growth driver, with vendors in the others category focusing on specific markets instead of trying to compete directly with their larger rivals.

IDC wearables team research director Ramon Llamas pointed to India-based wearables maker BoAt as an example, noting it “succeeded by concentrating only on the Indian market and was rewarded with triple-digit growth”.

Another example was a fitness-tracking ring from Finland-based Oura, which gained momentum among major sports teams.

Wearable patches, rings and audio glasses were among examples of new form factors gaining traction in Q1, with research manager Jitesh Ubrani explaining these offer “tech that is hidden yet functional”.

Vendors
Apple remained on top of the charts, boosted by affordable smartwatch models Apple Watch SE and Series 3 (see chart, below, click to enlarge).

Samsung surpassed Xiaomi, driven by products including Galaxy Buds Live and offerings from its JBL subsidiary. A decline in the Chinese vendor’s shipments was attributed to the wristband segment.

China was the main driver for Huawei, which IDC noted also registered some growth in Europe, with BoAt boosted by keen pricing of its ear-worn products.

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Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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