Apple Watch will continue to dominate for years to come

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Apple Watch Series 4 Solar System Watch Face
Apple Watch won’t have serious rivals in the foreseeable future.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch has the lion’s share of smart watch sales today, and that’ll hold true through at least 2023, according to a market-research firm. This ultra-mobile computer will stay in the lead as the entire market for wrist-worn wearables grows strongly.

Sales of AirPods and other hearables are also expected see healthy growth in the coming years.

Apple Watch and… everyone else

The analysts at IDC predict that global sales of smart watches will grow 43 percent, from 91.8 million in 2019 to 131.6 million in 2023, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4 percent.

“Apple is expected to lead the way, capturing 25.9 percent share of all watches in 2023,” noted IDC. “Beyond Apple will be a variety of brands running different operating systems, including Android, WearOS, Tizen, and others.”

These analysts see built-in cellular connections becoming common, and the uses for on-wrist wearables expanding. “Smartwatches, as always, will still tell you the time, but will move deeper into health and fitness and connect with multiple applications and systems, both at work and within the home,” said IDC.

Growth for hearables too

These analysts anticipate even slightly stronger growth for hearables in the coming years than for smart watches. IDC sees the 2019 market for AirtPods and its rivals hitting 72.0 million units and reaching 105.3 million in 2023. That a total growth of 46 percent, and a CAGR of 10.0 percent.

In-ear smart devices will also find new uses. “While many of these will be used as the front end to smart assistants or be used to track health-related metrics, IDC also expects brands to push forth added benefits such as allowing consumers the ability to cope with hearing loss or giving users the ability to fine tune their daily auditory experience,” said the analysts.

 

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