IDC tipped wearables across popular device types to grow at an annual rate of 15 per cent per year to reach 637 million units in 2024, with ear-worn devices set to continue their sector dominance.

In its latest wearables forecast, the company said the number of units shipped in its so-called hearables segment, comprising devices worn in or around the ear which provide connected services, would increase from 234 million in 2020 to 397 million in 2024.

Watch shipments are tipped to increase from 91 million to 156 million over the same period while wristbands are expected to grow from 68 million to 74 million.

It expects the total number of wearables shipped in 2020 to be 396 million, up 14.5 per cent on 2019.

Earlier this month the company cited the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic as a key factor boosting demand for wearables during Q2 2020, a trend it expects to continue throughout the year.

IDC analysts noted other key factors helping the sector’s progress in the upcoming quarters would be the link between devices and related services, an advantage being pushed by major brands including Apple, Amazon and Fitbit at recent launches.

Ramon Llamas, research director for mobile devices, AR and VR said: “Wearable devices and services will evolve together in the coming quarters. Wearables are the perfect device to collect user data, and services provide guidance and actionable insight. Together, they offer the user a virtual coach to make better decisions and achieve their goals.”