Technology

Wearable market to slow with impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain

Global market growth for wearable products will slow considerably in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the supply chain, research firm IDC said on Monday. The market will grow 9.4%, according to forecasts, to reach 368.2 million units shipped. In comparison, wearable sales increased by 89% in 2019.

The impact of the global pandemic will be felt in the first half of the year, according to IDC. “Watches and bracelets will be affected in the short term and we expect a 13% drop in the first quarter as many factories in China face manufacturing difficulties due to the shortage of labor and components, “said Jitesh Ubrani, IDC research director, in a statement.

“Likewise, a drop of 7.1% is expected in the second quarter, followed by a slight recovery in the second half, while supply constraints will slowly start to disappear and manufacturing will return to normal”.

The palm with connected atria

The majority of deliveries of wearable products in 2020 should be in the category of headsets and connected headsets. IDC predicts that 203.8 million products of this type will be sold this year. IDC puts in this category devices that are worn by the ear and that include at least one “intelligent” function, such as monitoring fitness or activating intelligent assistants. IDC gives this category a compound annual growth rate of 10.3% over five years.

The other major category is that of connected watches, with 95 million deliveries planned this year and an annual growth rate over five years of 11.4%. Apple “will no doubt stay ahead” in this category, said IDC. In January, Apple boasted that its line of xearable products, which includes Apple watches and AirPods, is now the size of a Fortune 150 company. The demand for AirPod headphones, particularly the AirPods Pro, has was described as “phenomenal”.

In the meantime, the bracelet market should remain relatively stable with an annual growth rate over 5 years of 1.8%. In total, wearable products are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% over five years, with 526.8 million units shipped in 2024, according to IDC.

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