Middle East, Africa wearables market rebounds

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The easing of supply disruptions saw the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region’s wearables market rebound in quarter three (Q3) 2020.

The market recorded year-on-year unit growth of 15.8% in Q3 2020, while its value was up 33.9% over the same period.

This is according to the latest insights from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC’s) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, which shows three million units worth $405.6 million were shipped to the region during the third quarter of the year.

“COVID-19 restrictions fuelled demand during Q3 2020, with remote working and home-schooling policies pushing consumers to look for more compatible devices to ensure productivity,” says Nourhan Abdullah, senior research analyst at IDC. “The need to be connected while limiting surrounding noise spurred significant growth in earwear devices, leading to double-digit growth rates for the region's overall wearables market.”

According to the research and analysis firm, basic wristbands, the market's dominant category, suffered a decline in Q3 2020. However, earwear devices, the second-largest category, saw shipments increase 54.8% year-on-year, according to the research and analysis firm.

Apple, Samsung and JBL are the top three brands in the earwear devices category. The top two categories – basic wristbands and earwear devices – accounted for 88.7% unit share of the region's overall basic wearables market in Q3 2020.

The smartwatch category also got back on track in Q3 2020, with shipments increasing 15.2% year-on-year, due to demand for features that help control infections by facilitating adherence to social-distancing guidelines.

Samsung dominated the region's smartwatch space in Q3 2020 with 44.5% unit share, spurred by the launch of its new Galaxy Watch 3 series. Apple followed in second place, while Garmin ranked third.

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