Apple will continue to dominate fast-growing smartwatch market until at least 2023

Apple will continue to dominate fast-growing smartwatch market until at least 2023
While the global smartphone market remains stagnant as groundbreaking foldable designs need more time to "stabilize" and 5G deployment is still too slow to make a difference, smartwatch sales continue to grow at an impressive pace around the world, pushing the entire wearable device industry forward.

It should come as no surprise that Apple is projected to stay in the lead of the smartwatch market until at least 2023, well ahead of a pack of rivals with no standout performer in sight. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects the Cupertino-based tech giant to rack up a 25.9 percent slice of a 131.6 million unit pie in four years, with the former number actually representing a major decline from the company's latest estimated 35.8 percent share.

But that's mainly because significantly more smartwatches are forecasted to be shipped worldwide in the next few years than right now. Specifically, that 131.6 million score would surge from 91.8 million units in 2019, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4 percent. And believe it or not, a different category of the wearable industry is expected to thrive at an even faster pace.


We're talking about earwear, aka ear-worn devices, aka AirPods and other headphones endowed with smart features. A whopping 105 million of these bad boys could be sold worldwide in 2023, up from "only" 72 million units this year, making up 34.8 percent of the overall wearable market, up from 32.3. 

What's perhaps more interesting to keep an eye on is how smartwatches and ear-worn devices will expand and evolve their feature sets and capabilities. According to the IDC, more than half of the former group will support standalone cellular connectivity in 2023 to break free from smartphones, while the latter category should focus more on allowing consumers to "cope with hearing loss" and other similarly life-improving use cases in addition to just tracking health info and interacting with a voice assistant.

Finally, it sounds like wristband sales have largely plateaued, with this year's 54.2 million units merely expected to rise to 55 million in 2023. Shipments will especially decline in North America and Western Europe, where the vast majority of activity tracker owners are likely to upgrade to smartwatches. 

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8 Comments

1. iloveapps

Posts: 724; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Good job Samsung taking the 5th place for bundling them free on your galaxies. Though it riddled with bugs just like their phones, GPS is as accurate as WiFi on an airplane, heart-rate randomly stops working, Spotify randomly starts playing after ending a phone call. Good thing its free.

2. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1301; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

No doubt you're speaking from experience...

3. japkoslav

Posts: 1465; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Considering Samsung quality I would not be surprised at all. All of their headphones suck major balls as well. Good thing is Galaxy phones are still one of the best, it's only accessories that suffers.

7. iloveapps

Posts: 724; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Got it from android comments speaking about Samsung’s accessories. Because I won’t ever buy android phones and accessories.

6. thxultra

Posts: 440; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

The apple watch is a much better product then the gear. I have a gear but would trade it in today if Apple would support android with the apple watch. Bixby is complete trash. The gear would be so much better if Samsung would drop bixby and use google assistant for starters. One thing about the gear that is better then the apple watch is watch face support. Other then that though the apple watch is a all around better product. Hoping google makes a watch with LTE support so I have a better option then the gear.

5. lyndon420

Posts: 6600; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

So...we are getting awesome batteries in 2023? Most smartwatches don't last long enough on a single charge to make them worth buying yet.

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