Shipments of wearable devices in Europe grew 154.4% on year to 13.4 million units in the second quarter of 2019, with earwear accounting for 52.3% of shipments in the region, followed by watches (26.7%) and wrist bands (20.7%), according to IDC.

The top-5 countries in the region in the second quarter of 2019 were the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and Italy, with Russia growing at a faster pace on year than the Western countries. The Eastern European region grew 215.9% while Western Europe grew 144.9% from the second quarter of 2018. Western Europe still represented 80% of shipments in the region.

“Earwear brands continue to modernize their portfolios by including more connected products. This enables them to know more about and engage more with their customers than ever before,” said Francisco Almeida, senior research analyst for wearable devices at IDC. “Knowing the customer profile and having a broad installed base enables better development of future product lines and a sustainable services strategy. That has been a recurrent theme across all form factors in the wearables market.”

“Smart wearable devices like watches and wrist bands offer interesting use cases for the connected consumer, including the smart home owner,” said Jiri Tersel, senior research analyst for Systems and Infrastructure Solutions at IDC. “There is still room for vendors to educate different consumer segments about smart wearables/smart home synergy. Even some experienced users do not know everything that’s possible. When devices are properly deployed, users should almost forget that automation exists.”

Earwear continued to register outstanding growth on year at more than 400%. Apple takes the lion’s share of the market, and strong brands in the audio space continue to introduce new products and devote more marketing efforts to the category – helping the device to become the “new normal” for consumers.

Watch shipments grew 18.3% from the second quarter of 2018. The notable difference is in the mix between basic and smart wearables, with basic representing 26% of watch shipments, up from 22.8% in the second quarter of 2018, at a time when some of 2018’s leading players in the basic space are migrating to smart wearables, namely Fitbit and Garmin. Huawei has been the main driver behind the surge in basic watches.

Wrist bands registered strong results, with shipments growing 222% in Europe. Added to continued strong performances from Fitbit, Xiaomi, and Huawei, the entrance of Samsung in the space with the Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit E at customer-friendly price points also helped to drive the wrist band market in the second quarter of 2019.

IDC expects the European wearables market to reach 72.8 million units in 2020, with earwear accounting for most of the units shipped (50%) followed by watches (33%). Total market value in 2020 is expected to reach US$14 billion in Europe.

IDC: Top-5 wearable device companies in Europe by shipment, 2Q19 (m units)

Company

2Q19 shipments

2Q19 share

2Q18 shipments

2Q18 share

Y/Y

Apple

4.83

36%

1.9

35.9%

154.7%

Samsung

2.43

18.1%

0.51

9.6%

379.3%

Fitbit

0.87

6.5%

0.62

11.8%

40.3%

Garmin

0.75

5.6%

0.62

11.7%

22.3%

Huawei

0.75

5.6%

0.09

1.8%

697%

Others

3.78

28.2%

1.54

29.2%

145.5%

Total

13.42

100%

5.28

100%

154.4%

Source: IDC, compiled by Digitimes, September 2019