India Third Largest Wearables Market in the World: IDC

  • Wrist bands witnessed a 24 per cent QoQ decline in 2Q19 as the top brands corrected their inventory
  • Watches saw a healthy 99.6 per Year-on-Year and 42.9 per cent QoQ growth in 2Q19

According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the India market for wearable devices grew 30.9 per cent Quarter-over-Quarter (QoQ) in the second quarter of CY2019 (2Q19) and 123.6 per cent when compared to the same quarter a year ago, reaching an all-time high of three million shipments in a single quarter. This has further cemented India’s position as the third-largest wearables market in the world after China and USA.

Jaipal Singh, associate research manager, Client Devices, IDC India commented, “We are seeing a shift in lifestyle devices segment wherein consumers are adopting new kind of devices to track their health and fitness that is reflecting in the uptake of the wearables segment. Brands continue to augment newer health tracking features and increasingly spending on marketing, and this is helping wearables to become one of the preferred choices amongst the fitness enthusiasts to support an active lifestyle.”

Rising popularity of the ear-worn wearables

This growth can be attributed to the rising popularity of the ear-worn wearables. It grew 122.7 per cent QoQ and 374.9 per cent annually in 2Q19 overtaking the wrist band shipments for the first time in the country. The ear-wear category includes wireless earphones that track health and fitness or enable smart assistants at the touch of a button or through hot word detection. This category accounted for most of the market shipments with 55.9 per cent share, followed by wrist bands at 35.2 per cent and watches at 6.9 per cent.

“The market for ear-worn devices has seen exponential growth in the last few quarters and this will continue in the coming quarters as well, primarily because traditional audio vendors are moving towards the wireless devices as it provides the ease of operation and comfort of carrying a device, while participating in a fitness activity or taking a call on the go,” said Anisha Dumbre, market analyst, IDC India.

“We are also seeing several smartphone brands launching ear-worn devices since it compliments their smartphone play and they can leverage their brand strength in this new category. Moreover, a set of new brands from India are entering the market to ride on the trend of true wireless devices at affordable prices, further helping in the growth of this category,” highlights Dumbre.

Product category highlights

Wrist bands witnessed a 24 per cent QoQ decline in 2Q19 as the top brands corrected their inventory after heavy shipments in the last quarter. However, shipments saw a 19.3 per cent annual growth compared to the same quarter last year. The average selling price of this category declined 9.7 per cent from the previous quarter to USD 26 as brands have launched more affordable options in the market to on-board new segment of users.

After a decline in the last quarter, watches saw a healthy 99.6 per Year-on-Year and 42.9 per cent QoQ growth in 2Q19. Fossil made a return after struggling with stock issues and became the leading wearable watch brand with 34 per cent category share.

In 2Q19, ear-wear devices grew more than four times from the same quarter a year ago. India based vendors played an important role in this growth as they launched affordable devices leading to the overall selling price to further drop to USD 43. In 1Q19, wrist bands was the leading wearable category with 60.7 per cent share, followed by the ear-wear with 32.8 per cent category share. While, ear-wear grew by 23 per cent percentage point in 2Q19 to reach at the leading category position.

“In the wearables category, wrist bands continue to serve as an affordable alternative to smartwatches, however, many companies are striving to bridge the pricing gap between wrist bands and smartwatches to serve the diverse needs of the consumer,” added Singh.