The news: The global wearables market hit a record number of shipments in Q4’21 at 171 million units, up nearly 11% from the year prior, per new IDC data.
How we got here: Consumer demand was driven primarily by interest in health and fitness tracking products, and Apple dominated the wearables market yet again.
Supply chain crisis averted: Tech companies experienced less supply chain barriers in Q4 2021 than in earlier quarters of the year, which enabled Apple to get more wearables to health consumers.
We initially thought the supply chain crisis presented an opportunity for competitors like Samsung to overtake Apple in the smartwatch market. Now it appears some supply chain problems are dissipating—which actually helped Apple retain its top spot in the market.
What’s next for smartwatch vendors lagging behind Apple? Healthcare consumers are worried about privacy—a factor Apple competitors could take into account more this year to prop up the value of their wearables in the eyes of potential customers.
It’s no secret that Apple has presented a hard stance on privacy over the last year. It has been heavily marketing a commitment to privacy in combination with AppTrackingTransparency, for instance. That could be a key reason why consumers are flocking to its wearables rather than competitors’ like Samsung.
In fact, Samsung has already begun a plan to make more healthcare consumers comfortable with the security of its tech, including wearables.