X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Wearable shipments spike by 60 million for 2020 despite COVID-19 lockdowns, IDC says

Hearables like wireless headphones are pushing sales.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
Expertise News | Mobile | Broadband | 5G | Home tech | Streaming services | Entertainment | AI | Policy | Business | Politics Credentials
  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
photo5429638780647747574

More people are buying wearables in 2020.

Érika García / CNET

Wearables are primed to hit almost 400 million shipments in 2020, IDC said Friday. According to the analyst firm, the top-selling wearable category globally is now hearables like wireless headphones and earphones. The rise in wearables shipments comes despite most of the world stuck at home amid the spread of COVID-19 -- around 60 million more wearables are forecast to be shipped in 2020 than were shipped in 2019.

IDC predicts 234 million shipments of hearables for 2020, compared with 91 million smartwatches and 68 million other smart wrist bands.

"Even though vendors scaled down production and end users were quarantined, demand for wearables remained steady," IDC said. "The market was propelled by near-record demand for hearables."

IDC added the launch of new hearables, smartwatches and wristbands will continue the momentum of wearables sales in the second half of 2020. The analyst firm pointed to Apple's new Fitness+, Amazon's Halo and Fitbit's Fitbit Premium, which provide virtual coaches for fitness and health, as pushing sales of multiple wearables products that work together.

Read more: Best smartwatches of 2020

Watch this: AirPods Pro or Galaxy Buds Live? How to choose the best earbuds