The worldwide wearables market hit a new record high in the fourth quarter of 2021 (4Q21) as shipments reached 171 million units, up 10.8% from the same quarter last year, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. And Apple dominated the category.
The tech giant retained the number 1 position as it captured 34.9% share during the quarter. Broad availability of the Apple Watch Series 7 watches after being delayed from quarter three to quarter four of 2021 and the launch of the AirPods 3 helped drive Apple’s growth during the quarter.
IDC says new products and continued demand for health and fitness tracking products along with hearables helped the market maintain its momentum. Shipments for the full year 2021 totaled 533.6 million units, an increase of 20.0% over 2020.
Hearables were once again the leading category as shipment volume grew 9.6% during the quarter and accounted for almost two-thirds of the entire wearables market. Meanwhile, watches continued to steal share from wristbands as the larger form factor offers consumers more features and customization. Lesser-known categories such as glasses (those without displays), rings, connected shoes, and others managed to grow 94.1% during the quarter largely due to products like the Oura Ring and Facebook/Ray-Ban Stories.
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