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Samsung: Wearables Sales Soared 30 Pct In 2020

Wearable device sales have shot up at least 30 percent this year as consumers looked to technology to help them monitor their health during the ongoing global pandemic, according to a top Samsung executive.

“Although a majority of consumers plan to spend less this year due to the pandemic, wearable device sales have grown by 30 percent or more compared to last year,” said Taejong Jay Yang, senior vice president for Samsung Electronics, in a CNBC interview on Friday (Nov. 20).

“What this data indicates is that even when millions of consumers are re-evaluating their spending habits, they continue to prioritize wearable technology products over others,” Yang added. “Samsung will continue to invest in these advanced technologies.”

The market for wearables is expected to reach nearly $70 billion by 2025, according to research firm IDTechEX, with healthcare-related products seeing the most growth.

CNBC noted that the smartwatch market alone has doubled in size to $13 billion over the past three years, with Apple, Google and Samsung all actively competing in the space. Earlier this year, Samsung rolled out its Galaxy 3 smartwatch, which includes features such as blood pressure and blood oxygen monitoring.

Samsung will face strong competition from Apple. The Apple Watch had a record-breaking 2019, outselling the entire Swiss watch industry, a report by Strategy Analytics indicated in February. Apple shipped 30.7 smartwatches worldwide last year, compared with 21.1 million for all Swiss watch brands combined.

The Apple Watch has also proven to be formidable competition for rival Fitbit, which announced earlier this month that it was being acquired by Google for approximately $2.1 billion.

Wearables have also expanded their features to include digital payments.

On Nov. 11, digital banking and payment processing firm i2c announced it was partnering with Purewrist, a FinTech working in end-to-end contactless payment solutions and wearables, according to a press release.

The partnership will allow i2c’s platform to be used with transaction processing of tap-and-go payments made from Purewrist’s GO wearable at near-field communication (NFC) contactless readers. Purewrist GO works with any terminal accepting Mastercard debit, which works as a companion piece to a standard plastic card or digital payment account.

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