Global Wearable Band Market Set for 5% Growth in 2024

The global wearable band market is expected to see a 5% increase in shipments for 2024, reaching a total of 194 million units, according to the latest analysis by Canalys. Despite a minor 0.2% decline in Q1 2024, the market is projected to rebound later in the year, driven by a resurgence in smartwatch growth at 4% and a continued rise in the basic watch segment, which is up 10%. However, the basic band segment continues to shrink, declining by 6% in 2024.

Source: Canalys

Basic watches reached their highest-ever share of 48% of the wearable band market in Q1 and are forecasted to have a 46% shipment share for the full year. Xiaomi and Huawei achieved significant growth in Q1 2024, with shipment increases of 37% and 46% respectively, driven by more capable basic watches targeting price-conscious consumers.

Smartwatch shipments saw a 9% decline in Q1 2024 but are expected to rebound with a 4% growth for the year, attributed to the anticipated release of upgraded devices in the latter half of 2024. There is a growing consumer demand for advanced healthcare solutions in smartwatches, with companies like Huawei, Zepp Health, and Samsung integrating advanced sensors, algorithms, and AI for comprehensive health insights.

Canalys emphasizes the importance of bundling and trade-in deals to boost shipments and enhance consumer retention, particularly through offering aggressive trade-in discounts on new generation devices. Vendors should expand their model portfolios to include ultra-premium smartwatches and smart rings to differentiate their products and enhance the consumer experience.

If there was a short-term opportunity for MicroLED displays, it would be the premium wearables market, but with these numbers, and Apple Watch not getting a MicroLED display for the foreseeable future, it is hard to tell whether there is any good news for display developers.