Worldwide shipments of wearable devices grew 2.6% year over year during the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23) and reached an all-time high for the third quarter of 148.4 million units, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
IDC says the total volume of 3Q23 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 the rise of smaller brands and emerging categories, according to the research group.
Apple held onto the top position in global wearable sales in 3Q23 with 20.2% market share. However, sales of AirPods and Apple Watches were down 26.7% year-over-year, according to IDC. The research group says Apple sold 40.8 million wearable devices and had 28.2% market share in Q3202.
“Smartwatches and earwear still hold pride of place in the wearables market,” says Ramon Llamas, research director, 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 fly wheel to keep volumes growing.”