Wearables remain in the doldrums as global markets continue to face long-term challenges

The Big Picture: Global shipments of wearable devices declined 6.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter as the market continues to struggle with growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), shipments of wearable devices reached 107.4 million units in the three-month period ending June 30. While the top five players in the market — Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei and Imagine Marketing — were unchanged, four of the five saw declines year after year during the second quarter.

IDC Believes The slowdown in demand is the result of a combination of factors including fear of recession, rising inflation, increased consumer spending in non-tech categories, and a drop from record growth over the past two years.

As such, IDC has updated its forecast for shipments for the full year. The market research firm now expects growth to remain flat at 535.5 million units through the end of 2022.

It’s unfortunate that heavyweights like Apple, Samsung and Google are focusing on premium smartwatches at a time when consumers’ appetite for higher-priced products remains in question, said IDC Research Director Jitesh Ubrani.

Earlier this month, Apple announced a premium version of the Apple Watch for outdoor enthusiasts. The Apple Watch Ultra It has a number of features that were not previously shipped on series watches but start at a much higher price of $799. The best ever from Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Golf Edition It starts at $499.

The wearables market may be disrupting, but it’s not out according to research director Ramon T. As the market continues to mature, Llamas anticipates the gap between the record volumes seen during the pandemic and what we are currently seeing diminish. In general, growth will continue, albeit at a slower pace.

IDC now anticipates a return to growth in 2023 as demand for watches and audio devices soars as shoppers in mature markets replace old products and new buyers in emerging markets buy their first wearables.

Have you jumped on the wearables bandwagon yet? If so, what hardware are you currently using and do you plan to upgrade over the next year?

image credit: Torsten Dettlaff

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