Apple Delivers Apple Watch Series 6Source: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple led the wearables market in Q3 2020.
  • The overall market grew 35.1% year over year.

Reported by analytics firm IDC, the global wearables market grew 35.1% year over year during the third quarter of 2020. According to the report seasonality, new product launches, and the pandemic drove shipments of over 125 million units.

New products from the likes of Apple, Samsung, and others helped renew interest in popular categories such as smartwatches and hearables. Meanwhile, consumer spend on electronics also increased during recent months as spending on travel, dining out, and other leisure activities decreased. This shift in spending was another catalyst for the wearables market.

Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, says that a desire for outdoor activity after lockdowns and a broader range of price points for devices led to the growth.

"Many countries began easing restrictions and opening up their economies during the third quarter, which helped bolster outdoor activity as well as demand for wearables ... Meanwhile, a broader range of price points from numerous vendors meant that there was something for everyone."

AirPods ProSource: Daniel Bader / iMore

Ramon T. Llamas, research director of Mobile Devices and AR/VR, says that the growth of wearables is happening in both emerging and developed markets that point to continued growth across the globe.

"The double-digit growth not only indicates strong demand, but also suggests that many people got a wearable device for the first time in both emerging and developed markets ... Consider what this means: a larger installed base of wearable device users going forward and a larger opportunity for device replacements in the years to come. And, as some wearers own multiple devices – like earwear and wristwear – the wearables market will enjoy sustained demand."

Apple placed first in market share, led by the company's AirPods and Apple Watch lineup.

Apple led the market with 33.1% share during the quarter. AirPods along with Apple Watches were hugely popular due to pandemic driven demand. Apple's expanding Watch lineup also ensured that devices were available at multiple price points including new mid-level products such as the Watch SE.

Xiaomi came in second, Huawei ranked third, and Samsung grew to fourth place.