Hearables Are the New Wearables, Says IDC
Global wearable device shipments grew 85.2% in the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19) as shipments totaled 67.7 million units according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. Earworn devices (hearables) were among the fastest growing categories, capturing 46.9% of the overall wearables market during the quarter, up from 24.8% a year ago. Driving that growth was a slew of new products and consumers who purchased their second wearable, a hearable, to use in parallel with existing watches or wrist bands.
"The growing popularity of the hearables segment is forcing existing brands to reconsider past designs when launching new products, as evident in Samsung's popular Galaxy Buds, while also attracting new brands to market," said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "And though it's still early days, the market is showing signs of emerging subsegments such as hearables dedicated to sports from the likes of Jabra, premium hearables from companies such as Bose, and ones dedicated to hearing loss such as those from Nuheara."
IDC defines Earwear/Hearables as the wearables that hang on or plug into the ear. The device must operate wirelessly and provide stereo sound while also including at least one of the following features:
Track health/fitness (e.g., Samsung Gear IconX).
Modify audio, and not just noise reduction (e.g., Nuheara IQbuds).
Provide language translation on the device (e.g., Waverly Labs).
Enable smart assistants at the touch of a button or through hotword detection even if the assistant is running on another device such as a smartphone (e.g., Apple's AirPods and Google's Pixel Buds)
"What has been driving the hearables market is the experience," added Ramon T. Llamas, research director, Wearables. "Quality audio is still the hallmark of hearables, but additional features – ranging from adjusting audio to smart assistants and health and fitness – increase their value and utility. As prices come down and more features come on board, this next generation of hearables will become the new normal for earphones."
(For more information visit https://www.idc.com).