UAE residents spend more on wearable gadgets, Apple leads

Residents bought 1.1mln wearables in the third-quarter of 2020

  
An Apple Store employee shows the new Series 5 Apple Watch during the preview of the redesigned and reimagined Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York, U.S., September 19, 2019.

An Apple Store employee shows the new Series 5 Apple Watch during the preview of the redesigned and reimagined Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York, U.S., September 19, 2019.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Spending on the wearables is on the rise as demand for those gadgets that come up with features to control infections by facilitating adherence to social distancing guidelines are in high demand.

According to global data service provider International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple products lead the pack in the UAE while Samsung dominates the smart watch category in the region.

Data showed that the UAE residents bought 1.1 million wearables in the third-quarter of 2020, increasing by 26.3 per cent year-on-year and 38.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

The increase in consumer spending can be attributed to pent-up demand that drove the performance of the market upward in the last quarter.

IDC data showed that Apple, Xiaomi and Samsung were the most popular wearables sold in the third quarter.

Nourhan Abdullah, a senior research analyst in IDC, said 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.

"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," she added.

In the Middle East and Africa, the basic wristbands suffered a decline in Q3 2020 while earwear devices saw shipments increase 54.8 per cent year-on-year. Apple, Samsung, and JBL are the top three brands in the earwear devices category in the region. It is worth noting that these top two categories — basic wristbands and earwear devices — accounted for 88.7 per cent 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 per cent, 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 per cent 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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