RIYADH: Growing demand for earphones among people forced to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic helped spark a rebound in the Middle East wearables market in the third quarter of this year.
According to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC), a global provider of market intelligence, 3 million wearable units worth $405.6 million were shipped to the Middle East and Africa during the third quarter of the year, a year-on-year increase of 15.8 percent.
Looking at a breakdown of data for Saudi Arabia, Nourhan Abdullah, an IDC senior research analyst, told Arab News the Kingdom recorded delivery of 385,000 wearable units in the third quarter of the year, a 7 percent increase on the same period last year.
Within the wearables sector, Abdullah said that the three most popular items were wristbands, earwear devices and watches, while the top-selling brand was China’s Xiaomi.
“Coronavirus restrictions fueled demand during Q3 2020, with remote working and home-schooling policies pushing consumers to look for more compatible devices to ensure productivity,” Abdullah said.
“The need to be connected, while limiting surrounding noise, spurred significant growth in earwear devices, leading to double-digit growth for the region’s overall wearables market,” he said of the market across the Middle East and Africa.
While basic wristbands, the market’s dominant category, suffered a decline in the third quarter, the second-largest category, earwear devices, saw shipments increase 54.8 percent year-on-year.
Apple, Samsung and JBL are the top three brands in the earwear devices category across the Middle East and Africa. In total, basic wristbands and earwear devices accounted for 88.7 percent of sales for all wearables during the period.
The smartwatch category saw shipments increase 15.2 percent year-on-year during the quarter, thanks to demand for features that help monitor social distancing and tracing.
Samsung dominated the region’s smartwatch space with 44.5 percent of all sales, followed by Apple and Garmin.