Intenational Data Corporation (IDC) tracks the wearable device market worldwide. IDC Market Tracker reports document market activity within specific time periods. The Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker found that 118.9 million devices shipped during the last quarter of 2019, 82.3% growth over the same quarter in 2018. Overall for 2019, 336.5 million wearables shipped worldwide, according to IDC, compared to 178.0 million in 2018. These gross numbers represent 89.0% growth.

The largest contributor to 2019’s growth was hearables, which accounted for 55.3% of the units shipped. Wrist-worn devices including watches and wristbands were just 43.8% of the market in 2019, a significant decline from the 68.6% market share in 2018. That doesn’t mean that smartwatches and fitness and other types of wrist-worn device shipments dropped, however. In fact, the unit shipments for wrist-worn devices grew 16.3%. Hearables enjoyed huge production and shipment increases as that global market develops.

IDC pointed out that five companies were responsible for the bulk of the year’s wearables shipments. During the fourth quarter, the companies with the largest shipped units were Apple (43.4 million units), Xiaomi (12.8 million), Samsung (10.5 million), Huawei (9.3 million), and Fitbit (6.0 million). Those five companies in the same order also led the shipment numbers for the year overall. For the fourth quarter of 2019, the top five shipped nearly 70% of the total 118.9 million shipments worldwide. IDC noted that smaller companies and new players still have growth opportunities because the big five have not entirely dominated the market.

Digging into the hot product categories, IDC reported that the greatest factor driving the hearables market in 2019 was audio quality including rich sound and noise cancellation. Other notable hearables functions in units shipped included coaching, language translation, and smart assistants. The bulk of the wristband market shipments were for step counters and heart rate monitors, even though wristbands continue to add smartwatch-like features such as notifications and messages. Smartwatch sales numbers grew 22.7% over 2018, with Apple still the easy leader. Apple’s share of the shipments dropped below 40%, however, with Huawei, Samsung, and others gaining larger slices of the market.