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Africa wearables market rebounds

The wearable market in Africa has rebounded since the last quarter after pandemic-related supply disruptions eased.

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) wearables market rebounded in the third quarter of 2020, thanks to an easing of the supply disruptions that had plagued the previous quarter. 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.  

That’s according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC), with the firm’s recently updated Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker showing that 3.0 million units worth $405.6 million were shipped to the region during the third quarter of the year. 

“COVID-19 restrictions fueled 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, a senior research analyst in 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.” 

While basic wristbands, the market’s dominant category, suffered a decline in Q3 2020, the second-largest category, earwear devices, saw shipments increase 54.8% year on year. Apple, Samsung, and JBL are the top three brands in the earwear devices category. It is worth noting that these 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 smart watch category also got back on track in Q3 2020, with shipments increasing 15.2% year on year, thanks to demand for features that help control infections by facilitating adherence to social-distancing guidelines. Samsung dominated the region’s smart watch 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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