India wearables market sees triple-digit growth in 2020: IDC
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India wearables market sees triple-digit growth in 2020: IDC

Growth driven by record shipments of hearables, watches

New Delhi, March 5, 2021

The India wearables market posted a remarkable 144.3% year-over-year (YoY) growth in 2020, exiting 2020 with 36.4 million unit shipments, according to the recent data from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

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, a press release from IDC said, quoting the report.

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, it said.

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

“Hearables became one of the most sought-after electronic categories in 2020. The newer version of hearables are much better in managing the increased audio usages and improved aesthetic and design also made them the trendsetter,” says Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India.

“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 in 2020 from $110 in 2019," she added.

4Q20 (Oct-Dec 2020) recorded the biggest quarter for wearables in India, maintaining triple-digit growth. Overall, vendors shipped 15.2 million units in 4Q20, 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.

Noise’s Colorfit pro-2, Realme watch, Apple’s watch series 6, and new launches from Amazfit provided this strong growth for watches in 4Q20.

The report said wristbands declined by 34.3% YoY in 2020 since peaking in 2019 as the year ended with 3.3-million-unit shipments. After the introduction of wrist bands into the Indian market, 2020 has been the first year when the 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 46.7% of the share, Xiaomi continued to lead the category in 2020. Realme, which entered the segment in 2020 finished second with a 12.3% category share.

Watches grew significantly as demand for wrist bands declined during the year. Watches saw a 139.3% YoY growth with 2.6-million- unit shipments 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 itself, accounted for a 24.5% share in the watch category, and Apple continues to lead the smartwatch category with a 51.0% share in 2020.

The Earwear category accounted for 83.6% of the overall wearable market share to hit 30.4 million unit shipments in 2020. BoAt emerged as the biggest player in the category, accounting for one-third of the category shipments. Samsung with its portfolio including JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity finished second with a 14.5% share in 2020. BoAt also led the TWS segment with a 24.6% share, followed by Realme with a 13.5% share in 2020.

Jaipal Singh , Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India said, “2020 was a year of transition in the audio segment from wired to wireless devices. In 2021, this category will further migrate to more sophisticated devices with enhanced audio experience being the central theme for all vendors"

"The high cost associated with wearable watches is not much of a challenge anymore. Also, the watch form factor is now seen as more appealing to the consumers, and vendors will leverage this shift by further expanding their watches portfolio in coming quarters," he added.

In IDC's definition, for an ear-worn device to be considered wearable under the earwear or hearables category, it must offer functionality beyond audio, like a smart assistant, health and fitness tracking, audio experience enhancement, or language translation.

Wearable devices that are in the form of a watch and capable of processing the data digitally are considered in the watch category and it excludes the traditional analog and digital watches.

IDC Tracker products provide market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe.

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