India becomes third-largest wearable market after China and US: IDC

Shipment of wearable devices grew by more than 100 percent year-on-year, reaching an all-time high of three million shipments in the April- June quarter.

The Indian wearable devices market touched an all-time high shipment of three million units in the April-June 2019 quarter, cementing the country's position as the third-largest wearables market globally after China and the US, according to research firm IDC.

Shipment of wearable devices grew 30.9 percent quarter-on-quarter (2.31 million units) in the second quarter of 2019, and 123.6 percent on a year-on-year basis, reaching an all-time high of three million shipments in a single quarter, said IDC.

The Series I Apple Watch from 2015. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

"This has further cemented India's position as the third-largest wearables market in the world after China and the US. This growth can be attributed to the rising popularity of the ear-worn wearables," it added.

The ear-worn wearable category grew 122.7 percent q-o-q and 374.9 percent annually in the said quarter, 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 percent share, followed by wristbands at 35.2 percent and watches at 6.9 percent, IDC said.

"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," IDC India Market Analyst Anisha Dumbre said.

Dumbre said several smartphone brands are also 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," Dumbre said.

Jaipal Singh, associate research manager (client devices) at IDC India, said there is a shift in the 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.

"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," he added.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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