The Indian wearable market registered record growth with three million wearables shipped in the second quarter of 2019 alone. This cements India's position as the third-largest wearable market in the world, after China and the US, says IDC in its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device tracker. The wearable shipments primarily comprise ear-wear, wristband and watches amongst others.
According to IDC, the India market for wearable devices grew 30.9 per cent quarter-over-quarter in the second quarter of 2019 and 123.6 per cent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India commented, "We are seeing a shift in lifestyle devices segment wherein consumers are adopting new kind of devices to track health and fitness that is reflecting in the uptake of the wearable segment. Brands continue to augment newer health tracking features and increasingly spending on marketing, and this is helping wearables to become one of the preferred choices amongst the fitness enthusiasts to support an active lifestyle."
Over the last few years, the wearable market was dominated by wristbands. For the first time, ear-worn wearables have overtaken wrist bands, with the market shipments of 55.9 per cent, followed by wrist bands at 35.2 per cent and watches at 6.9 per cent. Earwear shipments accounted for 1.69 million units in the second quarter, up from 0.76 million units shipped in the first quarter of this year. This category grew 122.7 per cent (quarter-over-quarter) and 374.9 per cent annually in 2Q19. This earwear category includes wireless earphones that track health and fitness or enable smart assistants at the touch of a button or through hot word detection.
"The market for ear-worn devices has seen exponential growth in the last few quarters and this will continue in the coming quarters as well, primarily because traditional audio vendors are moving towards wireless devices as it provides ease of operation and comfort of carrying a device, while participating in fitness activity or taking a call on the go. We are also seeing several smartphone brands launching ear-worn devices since it compliments their smartphone play and they can leverage their brand strength in this new category. Moreover, a set of new brands from India are entering the market to ride on the trend of true wireless devices at affordable prices, further helping in the growth of this category" says Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India.
Wrist bands, on the other hand, witnessed a 24 per cent quarter-over-quarter decline as shipments fell to 1.07 million units in the second quarter against 1.4 million in the first quarter. IDC states that top brands corrected their inventory after heavy shipments of the previous quarter. However, shipments saw a 19.3 per cent annual growth compared to the same quarter last year. With brands launching more affordable wrist bands in the market, the average selling price of this category declined 9.7 per cent from the previous quarter to $26.
Watches accounted for 0.21 million units, up from 0.15 million units from the previous quarter, registering a 99.6 per cent year-over-year and 42.9 per cent quarter-over-quarter growth in 2Q19. Fossil made a comeback with 34 per cent category share. "In wearables, wrist bands continue to serve as affordable alternative to smartwatches. However, many companies are striving to bridge the price gap between wrist bands and smartwatches to serve the diverse needs of the consumer," adds Singh.