Earwear dominates India wearables market, finds IDC

New Delhi September 5 2019: The India market for wearable devices grew 30.9% Quarter-over-Quarter (QoQ) in the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19) and 123.6% when compared to the same quarter a year ago, reaching an all-time high of 3 million shipments in a single quarter. This has further cemented India's position as the third-largest wearables market in the world after China and USA. These are topline findings of the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker,
This growth can be attributed to the rising popularity of the ear-worn wearables. It grew 122.7% QoQ and 374.9% annually in 2Q19 overtaking the wrist band shipments for the first time in the country. The 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. This category accounted for most of the market shipments with 55.9% share, followed by wrist bands at 35.2% and watches at 6.9%.
Says Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India: "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 the wireless devices as it provides the ease of operation and comfort of carrying a device, while participating in a 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."

Product Category Highlights
Wrist bands witnessed a 24% QoQ decline in 2Q19 as the top brands corrected their inventory after heavy shipments in the last quarter. However, shipments saw a 19.3% annual growth compared to the same quarter last year. The average selling price of this category declined 9.7% from the previous quarter to USD 26 as brands have launched more affordable options in the market to onboard new segment of users.
After a decline in the last quarter, Watches saw a healthy 99.6% Year-on-Year and 42.9% QoQ growth in 2Q19. Fossil made a return after struggling with stock issues and became the leading wearable watch brand with 34% category share.
In the second quarter of 2019, Earwear devices grew more than four times from the same quarter a year ago. India based vendors played an important role in this growth as they launched affordable devices leading to the overall selling price to further drop to USD 43. In 1Q19, wrist bands was the leading wearable category with 60.7% share, followed by the earwear with 32.8% category share. While, earwear grew by 23% percentage point in 2Q19 to reach at the leading category position.
Summarizing the growth of wearables in India, 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 their health and fitness that is reflecting in the uptake of the wearables 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.In the wearables category, wrist bands continue to serve as an affordable alternative to smartwatches, however, many companies are striving to bridge the pricing gap between wrist bands and smartwatches to serve the diverse needs of the consumer."