The India wearables market - including products like smartwatches and earbuds - posted the highest quarterly shipment to date, growing 165.1 per cent to 11.8 million units in September quarter, as per research firm IDC.
The wearables segment, which had clocked shipment of 4.4 million in the September 2019 quarter, saw strong demand for earwear devices and watches that propelled this growth, IDC said.
"In the last few quarters, wearable devices have become more affordable with the average selling price of watches coming down to USD 111 in Q3 2020 compared to USD 175 in Q3 2019. This is enticing consumers to upgrade from wristbands to watches," it added.
Similarly, the average price of true wireless stereo (TWS) (commonly known as earbuds) has dropped by 48.6 per cent y-o-y in the third quarter of 2020 to USD 57.
TWS now contributes to 39.7 per cent of the overall earwear category, as close to 4 million TWS devices were shipped during the quarter, recording 1,156.3 per cent growth in the quarter under review, as per IDC.
"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 earwear devices," IDC India Market Analyst, Client Devices, Anisha Dumbre said.
Vendors are capitalising on this rising trend, addressing the growing consumer demand and launching affordable devices, making the overall earwear category more accessible, she added.
"The pandemic has reinforced the importance of fitness in our life. The motivation of 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," IDC India Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, Jaipal Singh said.
Singh added that to support this shift, the watch category is also witnessing an adjustment in average selling price and expected to accelerate the much-needed migration to watches from wrist band.
As per IDC, the wristbands segment saw a growth of 83.3 per cent quarter-over-quarter in the third quarter of 2020 after seeing a sequential decline in the first half of the year. However, it declined by 20.3 per cent y-o-y as users started upgrading to watches. Xiaomi maintained its lead, accounting for more than half of the category shipments with a 52.4 per cent share in the quarter, followed by Realme (14.6 per cent share), IDC said.
The watches segment registered a growth of 119.9 per cent y-o-y in the quarter under review with 7,78,000 units shipped in the country, making it the biggest quarter since the launch of the category in India.
Homegrown Indian lifestyle technology brand, Noise led the segment with a 28.5 per cent share in the quarter under review, while Realme replaced Huami for the second position with a 24.2 per cent share of the category, IDC noted.
Increased demand for wireless devices supported the earwear category to hit its "all-time high" shipment in the country, witnessing a 260.5 per cent y-o-y growth in the third quarter of 2020. Boat led the category with a 32.4 per cent share, followed by Samsung (includes devices from Samsung, Infinity, Harman Kardon, and JBL) with 15 per cent share.
Boat also led the overall TWS category with a 26.1 per cent share, followed by Realme (15.5 per cent).
In a separate statement, Noise said it has recorded a sale of over one lakh smartwatches in a time span of 100 hours during the festive season, and it has aggressive expansion plans for the coming months.
Noise co-founder Gaurav Khatri said the company plans to ramp up the portfolio and will soon bring more upgrades to its current successful models in the next one month.