Earwear shipments hit a record in 2020 as e-learning, WFH boost demand

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March 11, 2021 12:45 AM

The category witnessed a 139.3% Y-o-Y growth with 2.6 million- unit shipped in 2020. Noise led the watch category with a 24.5% share in 2020 followed by Realme with a 15.7% share in the year.

In this category, BoAt emerged as the biggest player accounting for one-third of the shipments.In this category, BoAt emerged as the biggest player accounting for one-third of the shipments.

Even as Covid-19 disrupted businesses and impacted trade last year, the pandemic came as a blessing for earwear and watches as these categories posted record shipments in the 2020 calendar year on the back of huge demand from learn-from-home (LFH) and work-from-home (WFH).

According to IDC, India’s wearable market recorded a 144.3% year-on-year growth in 2020 with 36.4-million-unit shipments. Under this segment, the earwear category accounted for 83.6% of the overall wearable market share to hit 30.4-million-unit shipments in 2020.

“India was the only country in the top 20 to see triple-digit growth in wearables in 2020 and continues to be the third-largest wearables market globally. This growth was majorly driven by the increasing acceptance of earwear devices and upgrades to watches from wrist bands, both recording their highest annual shipments in 2020,” IDC India said.

Earwear device shipments grew more than threefold in 2020 compared to 2019 mainly driven by affordable launches and expanding use cases beyond entertainment like virtual meetings and e-learning requirements. Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices were the top gainer with a ten-fold increase in shipments at 11.3 million units in 2020, it added.

In this category, BoAt emerged as the biggest player accounting for one-third of the shipments. Samsung with its portfolio including JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity finished second with a 14.5% share in 2020. The boAt also led the TWS segment with a 24.6% share, followed by Realme with a 13.5% share in 2020.

“Hearables became one of the most sought-after electronic categories in 2020. TWS category saw the much-needed price corrections with several vendors launching devices at more affordable price points leading to the drop in the average selling price of TWS to $45 (Rs 3,200) in 2020 from $110 (Rs 8,000) in 2019,” IDC India market analyst, Anisha Dumbre said.

Watches grew significantly as demand for wrist bands declined during 2020. The category witnessed a 139.3% Y-o-Y growth with 2.6 million- unit shipped in 2020. Noise led the watch category with a 24.5% share in 2020 followed by Realme with a 15.7% share in the year. Smartwatches, which can run third-party applications on the device, accounted for a 24.5% share in the watch category. Apple continues to lead the smartwatch category with a 51% share in 2020.

However, wristbands declined by 34.3% Y-o-Y in 2020, since peaking in 2019, with 3.3-million-unit shipments. After the introduction of wrist bands into the Indian market, 2020 has been the first year when this category reported a decline. The increasing popularity of watches at similar price points to that of wristbands is the main factor of the decline of wristbands. With a 46.7% share, Xiaomi continued to lead the category. Realme, which entered the segment in 2020 finished second with a 12.3% share.

The October-December 2020 quarter recorded the biggest quarter for wearables in India, maintaining triple-digit growth. Overall, vendors shipped 15.2 million units in Q4 2020, growing 198.2% YoY. This was the first quarter when shipments of watches crossed the one million mark as vendors shipped 1.3 million units during the quarter.

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