Apple Watch series 4

Wearbles shipments plummet off back of pandemic

Health tracking apps likely to reignite enthusiasm for squeezed product category
Apple Watch series 4

3 June 2020

A decline in user interest and disrupted supply chains have seen sales of wearables drop in the first quarter of 2020. Wearable shipments in 2020 are now expected to be 254 million, down from the previously forecasted 281 million, states ABI Research. This latest Covid-19 impacted forecast still represents a minor increase from the 241 million shipments in 2019 with an estimated year-on-year increase of 5%. However, this compares to 23% between 2018 and 2019. Original forecasts for 2020 promised a 17% increase.

“While wearables will see fewer shipments this year than originally expected, shipments of devices that can track and monitor healthcare vitals has lowered the impact,” said Stephanie Tomsett, research analyst at ABI Research. “Healthcare wearables are already being utilised to help track the progression of Covid-19 and monitor patients remotely.”

While healthcare wearables are aiding current situations, all wearable device types are expected to see a small increase in the second half of 2020, with smartwatches and sports, fitness, and wellness trackers leading this growth. However, Consumers and enterprises will now prefer wearables that feature more health-related monitoring capabilities.




Many devices, such as those from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Withings, and Oppo, are offering, or expected to offer, advanced monitoring features such as ECG tracking, sleep apnea detection, arrhythmia detection, and blood oxygen tracking.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a higher health awareness to all individuals around the world. Wearables with advanced health monitoring features will begin to buoy the wearables market in the second half of 2020 and pave the way for 289 million wearable shipments by 2021 and 329 million by 2022 as the world recovers from the pandemic,” said Tomsett.

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