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Low average price, growing popularity push up sales of wearables

The wearables market has had a small base of last year which explains the growth and especially their low average selling price gives them the popularity they are enjoying now with customers, experts said. Generally, wearables cost up to Rs 5,000-7,000 apiece.

Low average price, growing popularity push up sales of wearables
Even during the festive season, positive consumer sentiment gives him confidence that demand will grow 100% during the season.

By Kritika Arora

The sales of wearables such as smartwatches, fitness bands and wireless headphones and earbuds are on the surge, thanks to their growing popularity and low average selling price.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), India shipped 38 million units of wearables in the first half of 2022, representing a 66% year-on-year increase. Similarly, latest research by Counterpoint IoT Service shows the smartwatch market grew a whopping 312% y-o-y in April-June on the back of growing consumer interest in smartwatches as an accessory and as a fitness tracker, with companies like Fire-Boltt and Noise capturing more than half of the total smartwatch market.

Arnav Kishore, founder and CEO, Fire-Boltt, said the company sold three million units in the first two quarters of this fiscal and intends to sell 12 million in FY23, aiming at a 380% increase from last year. Even during the festive season, positive consumer sentiment gives him confidence that demand will grow 100% during the season.

The wearables market has had a small base of last year which explains the growth and especially their low average selling price gives them the popularity they are enjoying now with customers, experts said. Generally, wearables cost up to Rs 5,000-7,000 apiece.

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Moreover, Indian brands are doing well in bringing down the cost to $40-50 for consumers, said Navkendar Singh, associate vice-president, devices research, IDC India, South Asia and ANZ. “These devices make you look smart. Bluetooth calling is in vogue and there is a huge potential in this market,” Singh said.

Gaurav Khatri, co-founder, Noise, said they have seen the demand for wearables move beyond urban centres by appealing to aspirational consumers in smaller cities and towns. Consumers desire to experiment with new technology and stay current with the global trends, he added.

While on the one hand, wearables are becoming increasingly popular with the masses, on the other, the sales of smartphones witnessed a slowdown in the first half of 2022, according to IDC, which said the India smartphone market declined by 1% y-o-y to 71 million units. IDC’s Singh said the smartphone market may see only flat growth in 2022 over last year. “Smartphones sales are not doing well since October-November of last year as supplies are becoming expensive due to rupee weakening and demand is tapering because of inflationary pressure,” he said. However, he added that premium smartphones such as iPhones are still doing better.

Tarun Pathak, head of research at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said this year’s festive season may see unit sales of smartphones decline while gross merchandise value (GMV) of smartphones would still marginally rise. This is on the back of better sales in the premium smartphones segment such as Apple and One Plus where the average selling price is higher.

However, Counterpoint expects $7.7 billion worth of smartphones to be sold this festive season over $7.6 billion worth of sales last year.

While the premiumisation trend is picking up in smartphones, the mass segment is not doing well, which could imply that customers are buying wearables as they are cheap, Singh said.

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