India’s wearables market grew 118.2% year-over-year (YoY) in 2Q21 (April-June), shipping 11.2 million units according to the recent data from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) India Monthly Wearable Device Tracker . Strong shipments from homegrown brands in earwear and watches fueled this growth. Watches continued to be the fastest-growing category accounting for 81.2% share in the wristwear category that includes watches and wristbands, up from 35.0% a year ago. The earwear category also maintained its momentum, doubling its shipments in 2Q21 and remains the largest category in wearables.
The second wave of the COVID-19 had a marginal impact as the overall wearable shipments declined by 1.3% sequentially in 2Q21. Partial lockdowns, weekend curfews, and disrupted supply chains resulted in a skewed slump in the early-quarter shipments. However, unlike last year the market was quick to recover as the vendors stocked the channels to fulfil the pent-up consumer demand in June’21.
Over the quarters, the watch form factor seems to be appealing to the consumers, and Indian brands have been quicker to leverage this trend and align their device portfolio. Among the top five brands, three spots are captured by Indian brands, while Huami and Realme are at 3rd and 5th positions, respectively. Noise continues to be the leading player in the overall watch category for five straight quarters with a 28.6% share in 2Q21 and closely followed by BoAt with a 26.9% share. Fire-boltt, another homegrown brand, has entered at fourth position in just three quarters of starting its business in this category. However, Xiaomi maintains its formidable lead in the wristband category with 38.9% share, followed by Oneplus and Titan with 21.7% and 21.3% share, respectively.
“Affordability has been the key for Indian brands, and these brands have been immensely successful in gaining a significant portion of the watch market with competitive pricing, aggressive marketing, and faster adoption of new features,” says Anisha Dumbre , Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India. “This new generation of homegrown brands are digitally native, aware of their limitations and selectively targeting the gaps. However, they need to be watchful of the China-based brands, who going forward will be aggressive by introducing more sub-brands and leveraging the ecosystem play,” adds Dumbre.
The earwear category grew by 113.1% YoY in 2Q21, shipping 9.2-million-units. BoAt’s aggressive shipments and diverse portfolio helped it gain a dominant 45.5% share in 2Q21. It also led the TWS category with a 39.6% share in the quarter. OnePlus finished second with an 8.5% category share in the second quarter of this year. Even in the earwear category, the homegrown brands have a strong dominance as their share has reached 71.5% in 2Q21 from just 31.2% in 2Q20. Ptron, Zebronics, Noise, Portronics, Boult Audio, and Truke were among the key prominent brands that supported the dominance of homegrown brands in this category.
Commenting on the outlook for the Indian wearables market, Jaipal Singh , Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said, “The robust growth in wearable is attracting brands who have businesses around devices and accessories to expand their presence across all wearable categories. Thus, the influx of new entrants remains a key driver of growth,” He further added, “As we approach the festive season, vendors and channel partners are gearing up for record level of demand with the intention of further corrections in the prices. An upside of over 35% seems an easily achievable feat in 2H21 when compared to 2H20. However, vendors will be selective in their channel inventory with focus remains on etailers as concerns around COVID-19 third wave still prevails in the country.”
In IDC’s definition, for an ear-worn device to be considered wearable under the earwear category, it must offer functionality beyond audio, like a smart assistant, health and fitness tracking, audio experience enhancement, or language translation. Devices like TWS, neckbands, wireless over-the-ear headphones that support either of the above-mentioned functionalities are counted in the earwear.
Wearable devices that are in the form of a watch and capable of processing the data digitally are considered in the watch category, and it excludes the traditional analog and digital watches.
Samsung includes devices from Samsung, JBL, Harman Kardon, and Infinity
The wristwear category includes Smartwatches (e.g., Apple Watch, Wear OS watches), Basic Watches (e.g., Noise watches, boat watches), and Wristbands (e.g., Xiaomi Mi Band).