Wristwear market saw healthy growth in 2021, finds IDC

February 13, 2022: The India wristwear market (inclusive of wrist band and watches) grew by a healthy 141.3% year-over-year (YoY) in 2021, exiting the year with 14.4 million unit shipments, according to the recent  IDC India Monthly Wearable Device Tracker.
The growth can be attributed to an increasing acceptance of wearable watches which was aided by strong shipments from India-based brands. Despite challenges such as supply delays, COVID lockdowns, and logistics, the wristwear category recorded its highest-ever annual shipments in 2021.
Watches have shown the strongest YoY increase, growing by 364.1% in 2021. 4Q21 (Oct-Dec 2021) recorded the biggest quarter for wearable watches in India, maintaining a triple-digit growth. Overall, the wearable watch vendors shipped 4.9 million units in 4Q21, growing by 271.2% YoY. India-based brands now account for 3/4th of the overall wearable watch market, doubling its share from the previous year. Aggressive discounts, strong marketing promotions, and multiple launches helped these brands dominate the segment.
While players such as Noise, BoAt, and Fire-Boltt have cemented their position in the wearable watch category, few other homegrown brands such as Pebble and Zebronics must be watched out for in the coming quarters.
Wrist bands declined by 34.0% annually making it the eighth consecutive quarter of annual decline in 4Q21. Xiaomi maintained its lead in wrist bands, albeit with a decline of 43.7% YoY in 2021.
“The Indian watch market is thriving with a sharp increase in adoption due to increasing awareness around health and fitness. As consumers seek the best combination of features, price, and quality; most brands are trying to step up in meeting the changing consumer needs via product design and pricing strategies combined with partnerships and collaborations,” says Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India.
“Affordability has been one of the main drivers of such exponential growth in the wearable watch market. Competition at entry-level price points brought down the ASP of the watches to $61.3 down from $122.1 in 2020. This is putting immense pressure on new entrants and other existing brands to differentiate themselves in the market,” adds Dumbre.
 Top 5 Watch Company Highlights
Nexxbase (Noise) led the year with a 27.0% share in 2021 shipments, growing 410.2% annually. Noise also led 4Q21 to maintain its lead for the seventh quarter in a row. Its diversified product portfolio coupled with multiple launches and aggressive marketing spend helped the brand to retain its competitive position. Colorfit Pro 2,  Pro 3, and Pulse accounted for a 60.4% share of the brand portfolio.
Imagine Marketing (BoAt) finished the year in second place with a 25.1% market share. It witnessed a four-digit growth in shipments, thanks to aggressive digital media campaigns and multiple celebrity endorsements that helped strengthen the market foothold. BoAt Storm and Xtend together accounted for 87.5% of the company’s watch shipments.
Fire-Boltt emerged as the third biggest player in the watch market with an 11.6% market share in 2021. Its omnichannel approach, onboarding new brand ambassadors, and multiple launches across price points helped the brand to gain much-needed visibility in the market.
Realme finished fourth with a 5.6% share in 2021 growing 64.8% YoY. This is the only smartphone brand that has been able to carve out a niche spot for itself with a strong push across online and offline platforms.
Shipments from Zepp (Amazfit) grew 57.3% YoY in 2021. With its current focus on mid-range priced wearable watches, Amazfit is giving strong competition to premium watch players.
Says Upasana Joshi, Research Manager, IDC India said, “2022 will be a very interesting year for wearable watches. Such high growth is piquing interest from new entrants ranging from first time brands to smartphone brands with marketing and distribution experience in India. India based brands will strive to drive affordability and deeper penetration in the market. We can expect a bigger focus on health and sports related features in 2022.”
Note: Wearable devices that are in the form of a band or watch and capable of processing the data digitally are considered in the wristwear category and it excludes the traditional analog and digital watches. The wearable watch category includes Smartwatches (e.g., Apple Watch, Wear OS watches), and Basic Watches (e.g., Noise watches, boat watches)