IDC: Apple Watch to Lead Smartwatch Growth Through 2023

IDC: Apple Watch to Lead Smartwatch Growth Through 2023

The Apple Watch will be the primary global smartwatch growth driver through 2023, says a new report by research firm IDC. However, the firm says Apple is expected to see market erosion from various competitors.

In a forecast released on Wednesday by IDC, the research firm said smartwatches are expected to lead growth in the wearable device segment over the next five years. Shipments are expected to grow from 91.8 million units in 2019 to 131.6 million units in 2023.

The report also says the smartwatch product category currently accounts for 41.2% of worldwide wearable shipments and will grow to 43.5% at the end of 2023.

Apple is anticipated to be the market leader during the five-year period, with an expected 25.9% share of the pie. Devices running Android, WearOS, Tizen and other first- and third-party wearable operating systems will follow.

“Apple’s…nearest competitors follow by a long margin,” Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC’s Wearables team, said in a statement to CNET. “Android also plays a big role here, but it’s mostly known as a Chinese wearables platform.”

While the report indicates the Apple Watch will be the market leader, their numbers are expected to be down slightly at the end of the five-year period, the firm says Apple grabbed a 26.8% share of the smartwatch market in 2018 on 46.2 million shipments, up 39.5% year-over-year.

As for the rest of the wearables sector, IDC says watches and “earwear,” like Apple’s AirPods will dominate the 2023 overall wearables marketplace, combining for a 78.3% share of the market.

IDC anticipates a total of 302.3 million wearable device shipments in 2023.