India wearables market grows 56.4% in September quarter: IDC

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New Delhi: India shipped a record 37.2 million wearable devices in the three months ended September, registering a growth rate of 56.4% year-on-year, according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest quarterly tracker, published Friday.

A total of 75 million wearables were shipped in the first three quarters of 2022, the report added. IDC attributed this growth to aggressive stockpiling of inventory by brands for the festive season sales along with heavy promotions and discounts offered on the products across both offline and online channels.

The heavy discounts and aggressive pricing also made wearables a lot more affordable. IDC reported that the average selling price (ASP) for wearables fell by 13.6% during the quarter. This is in stark contrast to other electronics segments such as smartphones and PCs which have seen ASPs grow significantly in 2022.

“We will see bigger screen size, AMOLED display, physical or e-SIM connectivity in the affordable segment, while the premium segment moves towards more offerings with curved/edge-to-edge screens & NFC enabled for payment,” Vikas Sharma, senior market analyst, Client Devices, IDC India said in a statement.

Within wearable, smartwatch was the fastest growing segment with a 178.8% YoY growth rate on the back of 12 million unit shipments of both basic and advanced categories of smartwatches. The ASP of smartwatches fell 30.3% YoY and now cost $41 (approx 3,313) as opposed to $60 (approx 4,849), a year ago.

Shipment of basic smartwatches grew 187% YoY and accounted for 95.5% of the overall smartwatch market. Basic smartwatches include products that offer large screens and have more features than basic wrist bands, but do not have an app marketplace or advanced features such as Maps for navigation or news updates.

In terms of unit shipments, the earwear category was the biggest segment in wearables with a 67.3% market share. Within earwear, the TWS (truly wireless stereo) segment which includes wireless earbuds, accounted for 57.6% of earwear shipments, growing at 94.4% YoY. Meanwhile, shipment of over-the-ear headphones fell 50% YoY while wired earphones grew at a modest 2.5% YoY.

Indian brands continue to dominate the wearable market in India with Imagine Marketing, which sells products under the brand BoAt, at the top with a 32.1% market share at 19.5% YoY growth. Nexxbase, which sells under the brand Noise, was the second-leading wearable brand with a 13.8% market share. Another Indian brand Fire-Boltt moved to the third spot with an 8.9% market share and a triple-digit growth rate of 395%.

Chinese phone brand OnePlus slipped down to fourth even though its shipments grew 107.6% YoY. Realme was the only brand in the top five which saw a decline in shipments (18.5% YoY) in the September quarter.

Further, IDC forecasted that by the end of CY2022, India will surpass the US to become the second biggest wearable market, in terms of unit shipments, after China.

Upasana Joshi, research manager, client devices at IDC India pointed out that the expansion of local manufacturing and increase in partnership with ODMs will lead to 30% of wearables being made in India by the end the year.

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