Covid spurs record demand for wearables in July-September

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November 27, 2020 1:30 AM

Increased demand for wireless devices pushed the ear wear category to hit its all-time high in shipments in the country, witnessing a 261% y-o-y growth in Q3 2020.

Watches grew at almost 120% y-o-y in Q3, with 7,78,000 units shipped, making it their biggest quarter since the launch of the category in India. (Representative image)Watches grew at almost 120% y-o-y in Q3, with 7,78,000 units shipped, making it their biggest quarter since the launch of the category in India. (Representative image)

The Indian wearables market witnessed its best quarter till date during July-September this calendar year, with shipments touching a whopping 11.8 million units as work from home and online education drove up demand for ear wear. The Covid-19 pandemic also brought the focus back on health and fitness, driving demand for wristbands.

According to IDC India, wearables posted a record quarter in Q3 2020 at an impressive 165% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth, marking the highest quarter shipments to date as strong demand for ear wear devices and watches propelled growth. Both segments recorded their biggest quarter of shipments in India.

IDC India market analyst (client devices), Anisha Dumbre said, “The pandemic has created a new norm of learning and working from home. Virtual meetings, online classes, and increased time spent on entertainment have led to an intensified demand for ear wear devices. Vendors are capitalising on this rising trend, addressing the growing consumer demand and launching affordable devices, making the overall ear wear category more accessible.”

Wristband shipments grew 83.3% quarter-over-quarter (q-o-q) in Q3 after a sequential decline in the first half of 2020. However, they declined 20% y-o-y as users started upgrading to watches. Watches grew at almost 120% y-o-y in Q3, with 7,78,000 units shipped, making it their biggest quarter since the launch of the category in India.

Increased demand for wireless devices pushed the ear wear category to hit its all-time high in shipments in the country, witnessing a 261% y-o-y growth in Q3 2020.

IDC India associate research manager (client devices), Jaipal Singh said, “The pandemic has reinforced the importance of fitness in our life. The motivation for staying fit and leading a healthy lifestyle is now forcing users to upgrade to more sophisticated wearable devices with greater expectations around improved health tracking.”

To support this shift, the watch category is also witnessing an adjustment in average selling price and is expected to accelerate migration to watches from wristbands, he added.

In the last few quarters, wearable devices have become more affordable with the average selling price of watches coming down to $111 (Rs 8,200) in Q3 2020 compared to $175 (Rs 12,900) in Q3 2019. This is enticing consumers to upgrade from wristbands to watches, IDC India said.

Similarly, the average price of true wireless stereo (TWS) has dropped by 48.6% y-o-y in Q3 2020 to $57 (`4,200). TWS now contributes to 39.7% of the overall ear wear category, as close to four million TWS devices were shipped during the quarter, recording a four-digit annual growth of 1156.3% in July-September 2020.

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