The COVID-19 pandemic had impacted not only the global smartphone market in Q1 2020, but the wearable segment as well. According to IDC, even if COVID-19 drove smartwatch sales down in the first quarter of the year, they were offset by a period of increased shipments of earwear/hearable products, with Samsung achieving a 71.7% year-on-year growth in the wearable segment.
In the smartwatch market alone, Samsung shipped 1.8 million devices in Q1 2020, down from 2.0 million units last year. The company maintained a 10.8% share of the market and was the third-largest smartwatch vendor. The global smartwatch market experienced a 7.1% year-on-year decline in shipments.
Samsung had the highest year-on-year growth in wearables
Despite lower smartwatch shipments, the earwear/hearable segment grew 29.7% year-on-year in Q1 2020. The research firm attributes this growth to the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the higher demand for earwear/hearable products from customers who were stuck at home due to the virus and looked for ways to increase productivity. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+ were particularly successful for the company, with both products recording a total of 4 million shipments in Q1 2020.
With shipments from all the wearable categories combined, Samsung achieved a 71.7% year-on-year growth. It shipped 8.6 million wearables in Q1, wrist and earwear combined, up from 5 million units a year ago. The company increased its wearable market share from 9% to 11.9%.