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Half-Billion Wearables Sold Worldwide in 2020

by Neil Mawston | Mar 22, 2021

New research from SA shows more than a half-billion wearables were sold worldwide for the first time ever in 2020.

TWS Bluetooth earbuds and smartwatches from Apple, Xiaomi and others were among the main drivers of wearables growth.

We estimate global wearable sales grew a healthy 37 percent from 384 million units in 2019 to a record 527 million last year in 2020. This is the first time ever that global wearable sales have topped the half-billion level. It is a landmark event.

Earwear and wristwear together accounted for 98 percent of all wearables sold worldwide in 2020. TWS Bluetooth earbuds and smartwatches, such as Apple AirPods or Xiaomi Mi Watch, are the big two categories driving wearables growth today.

If current growth trends continue, global wearable sales will top 2 billion units and overtake smartphone sales before the end of the decade. Wearables can be worn on almost any part of the body, from head to toe. For example, smartglasses for augmented reality, smart rings with biosensors, or smart sneakers with pollution monitors. The scope for future wearables growth is huge.

Exhibit 1: Global Wearable Sales in 2019 to 2020  [1]

[1]  Numbers are rounded. Wearables are defined here as worn and connected devices such as Bluetooth headsets, smartwatches, basic watches, fitnessbands, smartglasses, untethered VR headsets, smart jewelry, smart apparel, and others.

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