India’s wearables market grew 118.2 per cent year-on-year in the June 2021 quarter at 11.2 million units with strong shipments from homegrown brands in earwear and watches fuelling this growth, according to research firm IDC.
The second wave of COVID-19 had a marginal impact as the overall wearable (which includes smartwatches, wrist bands and earwear) shipments declined by 1.3 per cent sequentially in the June quarter.
Partial lockdowns, weekend curfews, and disrupted supply chains resulted in a skewed slump in the early-quarter shipments, IDC said.
However, unlike last year the market was quick to recover as the vendors stocked the channels to fulfil the pent-up consumer demand in the quarter, it added.
IDC India Research Manager (Client Devices) Jaipal Singh 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. 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,” Singh added.
Singh noted that an upside of over 35 per cent seems an easily achievable feat in the second half of 2021 when compared to the same period last year.
“However, vendors will be selective in their channel inventory with focus remains on e-tailers as concerns around COVID-19 third wave still prevails in the country,” he added.
Watches continued to be the fastest-growing category accounting for 81.2 per cent share in the wristwear category that includes watches and wristbands – up from 35 per cent a year ago.
The earwear category also maintained its momentum, doubling its shipments in the June quarter and remains the largest category (in terms of number of units shipped) in the wearables market in India.
As per the data, earwear category logged shipment of 9.2 million units, wrist band was 372,000 units and watch 1.6 million units in the June 2021 quarter.
IDC said 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 (watch) brands, three spots are captured by Indian brands, while Huami (Amazfit) and Realme are at third and fifth positions, respectively. Noise continues to be the leading player in the overall watch category for five straight quarters with a 28.6 per cent share in Q2 2021,” it added.
Boat ranked second with 26.9 per cent share. Fire-boltt, another homegrown brand, entered at fourth position in just three quarters of starting its business in this category.
“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,” Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst (Client Devices) at IDC India, said.
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,” Dumbre added.
Boat’s aggressive shipments and diverse portfolio helped it gain 45.5 per cent share in the earwear category (and 39.6 per cent share of the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) or earbuds segment) in the June quarter, IDC said.
OnePlus finished second with an 8.5 per cent earwear category share in the second quarter.
“Even in the earwear category, the homegrown brands have a strong dominance as their share has reached 71.5 per cent in Q2 2021 from just 31.2 per cent in Q2 2020. Ptron, Zebronics, Noise, Portronics, Boult Audio, and Truke were among the key prominent brands that supported the dominance of homegrown brands in this category,” it added.