Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Wearables saw explosive—but conditional—growth in 2020

2020 was a landmark year for wearables adoption, according to a new IDC report. Worldwide wearables shipments reached 444.7 million units in 2020, a 28.4% increase year over year (YoY), and in Q4 alone, shipments increased 27.2% YoY to reach 153.5 million units.

Apple made up the lion’s share of those Q4 shipments, with 55.6 million units and a 36.2% share of the global wearables market. For comparison, the two closest competitors, Xiaomi and Samsung, lagged far behind Apple, with 8.8% and 8.5% market share in Q4, respectively. Apple’s dominance was driven largely by a 45.6% YoY increase in shipments of its Watch devices, and a 22% YoY increase in hearables.

Part of the adoption surge in the US can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, which saw renewed consumer interest in wearables and increased consumer electronics spending generally. Many consumers have turned to wearables during the pandemic to help manage their own physical and mental health. Fifty-four percent of US adults reported using a digital wearable to track at least one health metric last year, according to Rock Health’s 2020 Digital Health Consumer Adoption Report, an increase from 44% the previous year. Further, 46% of respondents began using their wearables for a new purpose during the pandemic, with the most popular reported new uses being to manage a diagnosed health condition (66%), fitness tracking (34%), and trying to become more physically active (32%).

At the same time, overall US consumer spending on electronics also increased last year. US sales of consumer technology through December were up 17% compared with the previous year, according to NPD Group’s recent Future of Tech forecast. The increase in consumer tech sales, which NPD attributes to the pandemic, represents "the strongest growth in at least seven years."

However, it’s unclear whether the recent uptick in wearables will outlive the pandemic boom. eMarketer’s latest US Smart Wearable Users forecast expects 21% of the US population will use a wearable device at least once per month by the end of 2021, a slight increase from 20.2% projected at the end of 2020. From there, the forecast expects only modest growth in smart wearable adoption, eventually reaching 22.8% of the population by the end of 2024. We believe the pandemic-driven wearables boom may struggle to maintain its pace once living conditions eventually return to some degree of pre-pandemic normality.