Smart Earwear Is Fueling Growth in the Wearables Market
The worldwide wearables market saw significant growth in 2019, according to new research from the International Data Corporation (IDC). Over 305 million wearable devices are projected to ship by the end of 2019, up from 178 million in 2018.
The primary source of growth in this sector is the popularity of smart earwear. In order for an earpiece to be considered a ‘wearable,’ it must serve as more than just an audio transmitter. Traditional headphones are not considered wearables, but earpieces with smart assistants or ear-worn fitness trackers do fall into the wearable category.
Earwear represented 45.7% of the wearables market for 2019, and projected to reach 56% by the end of 2023. This year, 139.4 million earwear products have shipped around the world.
Smartwatches and wristbands each represent roughly one-quarter of the wearable market. The IDC projects a decline in popularity for wristbands as earwear continues to gain momentum. By 2023, the organization estimates that wristbands will only capture 14.3% of the market.
Wearables are expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 22.4% over the next four years. This would bring the total of devices sold to 489.1 million. Jitesh Ubrani, a research manager for IDC, says, “Underpinning the growth in the wearables market has been a drastic reduction in average selling prices.” The average price of a wearable device is projected to drop roughly $50 between 2019 and 2020, and prices should continue to decline in the years that follow.