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India becomes biggest smartwatch mkt globally with 171% YoY growth

Despite inflation and geopolitical crises that have continued since the beginning of this year, the global smartwatch market shipments increased 30% YoY in Q3 2022, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Smartwatch Model Tracker. During the quarter, India’s market grew 171% YoY to become the biggest smartwatch market in the world. Other markets also grew YoY, except China and Europe.

Research Analyst Woojin Son said, “Among the types of smartwatches*, the basic smartwatch, with relatively lighter versions of operating systems (OSs) and more affordable prices, has been the key driver in sharply boosting the global market recently. While HLOS smartwatch shipments grew 23% YoY in Q3 2022, basic smartwatch shipments more than doubled YoY, accounting for 35% of the total market. This remarkable increase in basic smartwatch shipments shows us that the market base is rapidly expanding toward more accessible segments amid aggressive drives by the supply side. But still, in terms of revenue, the HLOS smartwatch overwhelms the basic smartwatch with a market size of almost 10 times due to its high average selling price (ASP).”

Market analysis

  • Apple grew 48% YoY thanks to strong sales of its newly released Apple Watch 8 series. Released in early September, the new series accounted for about 56% of the overall shipments. Apple accounted for about half of the market among HLOS smartwatches in Q3 2022. However, this was a slight decrease from the 54% share in Q2 2022 due to the slump in North America and Europe, which are major markets.
  • Samsung increased its shipments by 62% QoQ with launching new Galaxy Watch 5 series, while its market share of the HLOS segment increased by 5% points QoQ. However, Samsung’s shipments only grew 6% YoY as it lost ground in India, falling below 3% share there. In the global market, Samsung was still in second place but with a decreased market share (down by 2.7% points YoY), narrowing the gap with the third-placed Noise.
  • Noise grew 218% YoY to regain the top spot in the Indian market. It ranked third in the global market, followed by Apple and Samsung. In the case of the basic smartwatch market, Noise ranked first in India, but the gap with Fire-Boltt was less than 1% due to fierce competition in that market.
  • Fire-Boltt showed a flat market share compared to the previous quarter but fell behind Noise to retreat to second place in India. But thanks to the Indian market’s rapid growth, Fire-Boltt was able to maintain its fourth place in the global market. Fire-Boltt is active mostly in the Indian market, so the growth of the brand shows how much impact the Indian market had this quarter.
  • Although Huawei grew 65% YoY, it recorded zero shipments in India for the first time since 2018. It ranked fifth in the global market, the same as the previous year.
  • Like Fire-Boltt and Noise, the sixth-placed oat targets the entry-level smartwatch market. oat crossed the 2-million mark in shipments during the quarter.
  • Garmin’s shipments were flat from the previous year. But in terms of revenue, the brand grew 11%. This is because its ASP of about $365 was even higher than Apple’s ASP.

In terms of regions, India occupied the top position for the first time. Senior Analyst Anshika Jain said, “India’s smartwatch market grew 171% YoY in Q3 2022 to become the biggest market in the world. The main factor behind the record quarter was India’s festive season. Indian brands expanding their product portfolios at affordable price points and emphasis on local manufacturing also contributed to the growth. Bluetooth-calling emerged as an important feature, contributing a 58% share in total shipments, the highest ever share to date. Consumers are also preferring bigger display sizes, which is evident from the fact that over half of the total shipments in Q3 came from the 1.5”-1.69” display size.”

In the case of North America, which remained the largest market from Q4 2020 to Q2 2022, the shipments increased 21% YoY. But India grew so much that it was pushed to second place globally.

Due to the continued “zero-COVID” policy and the subsequent economic downturn, China fell 28% YoY. Its market size decreased for the fourth consecutive quarter.

CT Bureau

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