Despite pandemic-related supply chain issues, wearables shipments worldwide grew 29.7% year over year during the first quarter of 2020 according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. Smartwatch and regular watch numbers declined, but wristband and earwear (aka “hearable”) shipments during the quarter led the 2020Q1 shipment push to 72.6 million units.

Of the two categories, wearables for the ear had the greatest action. Compared to 2019Q1, earwear shipments grew 68.3% in the first quarter of 2020. Growth percentage isn’t the whole story with hearables, which amounted to 54.9% of all shipments, or 39.9 million devices. Fitbit, Xiaomi, and Huawei helped wristband shipments grow 16.2% during the quarter.

COVID-19 influenced hearable shipments due to increased demand from home-bound consumers for quality audio playback devices and for productivity-related applications for workers carrying on with work from their homes.

Apple (+59.9%, 21.2 million units), Xiaomi (+56.4%, 10.1 million units), Samsung (+71.7%, 8.6 million units), Huawei (62.2%, 8.1 million units), and Fitbit (-26.1%, 2.2 million units) were the top five wearables companies based on shipments. (The numbers in parentheses indicate year-over-year shipments percentage change and 2020Q1 total units.)

Competition with smartphones and PCs for component parts contributed to the unit shipment declines of watches and smartwatches, according to IDC. Ramon T. Llamas, the market research company’s Wearables Team research director, suggests that watch companies will benefit during the rest of 2020 by focusing on watches’ overall health and fitness capabilities due to the current consumer concerns about staying healthy.