​Wearables popularity soars in 2020 – and Huawei is the big winner

Smartwatches grow but fitness trackers hold firm
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Wearable tech shipments grew by 24% in 2020, as the segment enjoyed rampant growth in face of the global pandemic. And while smartwatch popularity continues, fitness trackers are still on the rise.

That’s the main finding of the latest wearables forecast by analyst firm CCS Insight, which found that a focus on working out at home, health features and kids wearables fuelled 193 million wearables shipped worldwide.

The report names Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit and new-entrant Amazfit accounted for 60% of the market.

Apple is still top of the pile and its shipments grew year on year (43 million up from 37 million in 2019) but its huge market share shrank from 55% to 47%.

​Wearables popularity soars in 2020 – and Huawei is the big winner

And CCS Insight also singled out Wear OS for criticism, claiming that the smartwatch platform accounted for only 3% of shipments in 2020.

However, Huawei was the biggest winner. The company shipped 18 million wearables in 2020, up from just 4 million in 2019. The company has garnered plenty of attention for its Huawei Watch GT 2 range, mixing a budget price tag with long battery life. And as we reported, the company has just announced that its smartwatches will support third party apps. This backs up IDC data from June 2020.

Fitbit also posted modest growth, shipping 7.5 million trackers up from 5.8 million in 2020. As did Garmin, which grew to 3.4 million shipments from 2.7 million, according to the CCS Insight report.

2019 2020
Smartwatch brand excluding kids watches (shipped units)
Apple 37.1 million 43.6 million
Huawei 4 million 18 million
Samsung 8 million 11 million
Fitbit 5.86 million 7.5 million
Huami 3.5 million 4.1 million
Garmin 2.75 million 3.4 million

Data from CCS Insight

While it’s interesting to see the winners and losers, what about the next few years?

Firstly, CCS Insight predicts the wearables market to double in size, to 388 million units by 2025.

It also predicts a huge growth for kids smartwatches. After a tough year with so many kids at home, the company predicts the market to boom in 2021, with 32% year-on-year growth. That may come as a surprise, as the company notes that 90% of sales are in China – but we could see that trend rapidly expanding into the West.

Apple has encroached into this area already by enabling its LTE devices to be used as kids smartwatches. However, the market isn’t currently dominated by the traditional wearables names with companies like Vtech and Xplora owning the biggest share. We suspect this could change in 2021.

Of course these are just projections, but one thing is clear: wearables are very much here to stay.


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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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