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India’s wearable device market grew 34% in 2023

According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) India Monthly Wearable Device Tracker, 2023 ended with the India wearable market achieving a 34% growth to a record 134.2 million units. 4Q23 (Oct-Dec) saw 28.4 million units, growing 12.7% year-over-year (YoY). Though the festive period saw several new launches along with promotional offers and discounts, there was an overstocking situation through the second half of 2023. The average selling price (ASP) of overall wearables declined by 15.4% from US$25.0 to US$21.2 in 4Q23.

Key highlights of 2023:

  • Smartwatch shipments soared by 73.7% YoY, shipping 53.4 million. Within wearables, its share jumped to 39.8% from 30.7% in 2022. Festive season sales and heavy discounts led to a 38.7% drop in ASPs from US$42.5 to US$26.1. The share of advanced smartwatches shrank from 4.5% to 2.1% to 1.1 million units.
  • The earwear category registered a modest 16.9% YoY growth, reaching 80.4 million units. Within earwear, the share of the Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) segment reached a record 67.3% from 55.3% in 2022, growing by 42.3% YoY, whereas neckband shipments declined by 15.2%. Annual ASPs for earwear stood at US$18.2, declining by 8.2%.
  • All three top vendors BoAt, Noise and Fire-Bolt managed to secure their respective positions in the overall wearable market through diversified product portfolios and constant innovations, but at lower ASPs. Boult Audio registered the highest YoY growth amongst the Top Five vendor list. BeatXP, a new entrant in smartwatch category, managed to enter the top smartwatch vendor list with aggressive online marketing. Titan climbed to fourth place with a strategic approach of launching multiple models across price segments.
  • Shipments to offline channels outgrew online ones, as vendors focused on expanding their retail presence, registering 55.6% YoY growth. Offline channel share increased to 31.0% in 2023, up from 26.7% in 2022. Online channel shipments grew by 26.1% YoY.

“Affordability, low product penetration and a plethora of options led to a surge in demand for smartwatches. However, the growing popularity of non-branded watches is impacting the incumbents, offering cheap alternatives of popular models, and are even bundled with multiple watch straps. These offerings essentially dilute the first-time user experience making it imperative for incumbent vendors to find alternate ways to attract first time users,” say Anand Priya Singh, Market Analyst, Wearable Devices, IDC India.

The smart ring category garnered considerable attention, especially in the second half of 2023. More than 100 thousand smart rings were shipped in 2023 with an ASP of US$171.6. Ultrahuman emerged as leader, with 43.1% market share in 4Q23, followed closely by Pi Ring at 42.3% market share. Aabo was in third place with 7.9% share in the same period.

“IDC estimates single-digit growth for wearables in 2024. Vendors will hasten their omnichannel strategy which is still dominated by online channel (e-tailer). This will require unique distribution partnerships and more affordable products to access Tier 3 cities & beyond. In 2024, we will see a proliferation of smartwatches with LTE SIM/eSIM connectivity, advanced health sensors, and multiple GPS navigation. In earwear, premium features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and multi-device pairing will be available at affordable pricing,” says Vikas Sharma, Senior Market Analyst, Wearable Devices, IDC India.

IDC

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