Press release

Earwear and Watches Expected to Drive Wearables Market at a CAGR of 7.9%, Says IDC

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The market for wearable devices is on track to reach global shipments of
222.9 million units in 2019, growing to 302.3 million units in 2023 with
a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9%, according to a new
forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC)
Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker
. Behind that growth is the
propagation of smartwatches and ear-worn devices, which will account for
more than 70% of all wearable shipments by 2023.

“Not only is the market diversifying in terms of form factors, but it is
also diversifying in terms of connectivity and distribution,” said Jitesh
, research manager for IDC’s Mobile
Device Trackers
. “Among all watches, close to half will have the
ability to connect to a cellular network by 2023 as consumers along with
enterprises and healthcare look to free the watch from the phone and as
telcos push forward subsidies or financing options for watches with
cellular service.”

“In addition to the proliferation of devices is the expansion of
wearables use cases,” said Ramon
T. Llamas
, research director for IDC’s Wearables
team. “Smartwatches, as always, will still tell you the time, but will
move deeper into health and fitness and connect with multiple
applications and systems, both at work and within the home. Ear-worn
devices, while still centered on providing audio, will nudge into other
areas like language translation, smart assistant deployment, and

Product Category Highlights

Watches are forecast to grow from 91.8 million units in 2019 to
131.6 million in 2023 with a five-year CAGR of 9.4%. Apple is expected
to lead the way, capturing 25.9% share of all watches in 2023. Beyond
Apple will be a variety of brands running different operating systems,
including Android, WearOS, Tizen, and others. Not only will smartwatches
serve as health and fitness tools for consumers and enterprises, but
other use cases, such as parental tracking of their kids’ location or
the incorporation of watches into the smart home ecosystem, are also
expected to proliferate.

Ear-worn devices are expected to grow from 72 million units in
2019 to 105.3 million in 2023. While many of these will be used as the
front end to smart assistants or be used to track health-related
metrics, IDC also expects brands to push forth added benefits such as
allowing consumers the ability to cope with hearing loss or giving users
the ability to fine tune their daily auditory experience.

Wristbands will see flat shipment growth throughout the 2019-2013
forecast with a CAGR of 0.3%. Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Huawei
have been leading this market and more than half of all wristbands are
expected to be shipped in China. Meanwhile, mature markets such as North
America and Western Europe are expected to see declining shipments as
users transition to smartwatches.

Worldwide Wearables Forecast by Product Category, including
Shipments, Market Share, and 2019-2023 CAGR
(shipments in
Product Category  



2019 Market




2023 Market



Watch   91.8   41.2%   131.6   43.5%   9.4%
Earwear   72.0   32.3%   105.3   34.8%   10.0%
Wrist Band   54.2   24.3%   55.0   18.2%   0.3%
Others   5.0   2.2%   10.4   3.4%   20.3%
Total   222.9   100.0%   302.3   100.0%   7.9%
Source: IDC Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, June 19, 2019

* Note: All figures represent forecast data.

About IDC Trackers
products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor
share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than
100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research
processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and
monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly
excel deliverables and on-line query tools. To see more of IDC’s
worldwide wearables market data, go to

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone
Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world’s leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn
more about IDC, please visit
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