The wearable devices market will rebound in 2023 after declining for the first time ever in 2022, the International Data Corporation has said.

The worldwide shipments of wearable devices was set to rebound in 2023, and reach 504.1 million units, according to new data from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

The data insight firm revealed that this represented 2.4 per cent year-over-year growth, driven by sustained demand for the most popular products, earwear and smartwatches, while other products held steady.

It noted that the market would have several years of single-digit growth with shipments reaching 629.4 million units in 2027, and resulting in a compound annual growth rate of 5.0 per cent.

The firm said, “Earwear will remain the largest product category throughout the forecast as new users seek out their first set and current users upgrade from devices purchased in 2020 and 2021, when earwear shipments reached their peak.

“Smartwatches will experience market-beating growth as users transition from wristbands to smartwatches and, in some cases, from basic smartwatches to advanced smartwatches. Despite downward pressure from smartwatches, wristbands are not expected to disappear from the market as these devices will continue to appeal to users seeking simpler solutions.”

According to the firm, other wearable categories including clothing, rings, glasses that did not feature augmented or virtual reality, and others would trend up.

The Research Director with IDC’s Wearables team, Ramon Llamas, stated that despite the ongoing challenges in the macroeconomy, the demand for wearables would push the market into growth mode.

Llamas, said, “We still anticipate new devices to come out later this year and these will coincide with replacement purchases for those who acquired a new device several years ago. This sets up a virtuous cycle for future purchases in the coming years resulting in continued growth for the overall market.”

The Research Manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, Jitesh Ubrani, added, “And while replacements will be a big driver for mature markets such as North America and Europe, emerging markets are expected to drive continuous growth as well, though many of these consumers are expected to be first time buyers.”

Ubrani noted that India had already surpassed the United States and China in terms of market size, and would remain the largest market going forward due to the breadth of low-cost, yet feature-rich devices from local vendors.

He added that aside from India, other Asian countries along with Middle East and Africa would lead in terms of shipment growth, while China and the USA would remain the second and third largest markets, respectively.

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