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

CNET logo CNET 2020-09-25 Corinne Reichert
a close up of a device: More people are buying wearables in 2020. Érika García / CNET © Provided by CNET 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.

a close up of a device © Érika García / CNET

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

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