India’s wearable market grew 93.8 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in the July-September 2021 quarter, shipping 23.8 million units, as per data from IDC India.
Despite the logistic challenges and increase in freight costs, vendors remained aggressive in their shipments and were able to manage the inventory for the upcoming month-long festival sales, IDC said.
Shipments in September surpassed 10 million, growing two-fold from the same month last year, resulting in a record quarter for wearable devices in India, it added.
Watches continued to be the fastest-growing category with 4.3 million shipments in the third quarter, while wristbands saw a seventh consecutive quarter of annual decline to 738,000 units, IDC said.
Truly Wireless (TWS or earbuds) devices reached a 39.5 per cent share of the earwear segment (18.73 million units shipment) in the quarter under review, but the market remains dominated by over-the-ear and tethered devices, it added.
While seasonality made Q321 the biggest quarter for wearables, the influx of devices at the entry-level was the key growth factor. Throughout the quarter, Indian vendors were aggressive with their launches and channel expansion,” IDC India Market Analyst (Client Devices) Anisha Dumbre said.
Aggressive intent to maintain their lead helped them to further reduce the average selling price of watches to USD 73, putting immense pressure on a struggling wrist band category, she added.
IDC said India-based brands have captured over two-thirds of the watch market with their aggressive offerings and marketing spends on digital platforms.
Noise maintained its lead for the sixth straight quarter with a 26 per cent market share in the third quarter, followed by Boat with a 23.1 per cent market share. Fire-Boltt replaced Huami for the third position as its share jumped to 15.3 per cent, while Realme took the fourth position (7.3 per cent) and Amazfit settled at the fifth position (4.8 per cent).
“So far, these new-age brands have been able to limit the incumbent smartphone brands’ ability to make any dent in their growth and continue to dominate the wearables and wristwear categories, Dumbre said referring to the foray of smartphone companies in the wearables segment.
The earwear category – which includes TWS, neckbands, and wireless over-the-ear headphones – clocked 77.9 per cent y-o-y growth in the September quarter with 18.7 million units shipment.
Boat continued to lead the segment with a 48 per cent share (9 million units), followed by Realme (8.5 per cent share), OnePlus (7.2 per cent), Samsung (5.3 per cent) and Ptron (3.7 per cent)
A total of 7.4 million TWS devices in the earwear category were shipped, growing 70.5 per cent y-o-y in the third quarter. As players continued to target entry-level price points, 86.4 per cent of the TWS devices now fall under USD 50. Boat also led the TWS category with a 37.3 per cent share in the said quarter.
The proliferation of new entrants in the mass market segment has increased competition, putting a lot of pressure on brands to differentiate in a market that is getting inundated with lookalike products, IDC India Research Manager (Client Devices) Jaipal Singh said.
Celebrity endorsements are a key tactic for brand recall. However, to maintain the growth momentum they must invest more in newer designs and aesthetics, as well as newer collaborations with existing franchises,” he added.
This can help create unique product experiences that will not only help associate with new customers but can also open new avenues to sell these products, he said.
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