India pips North America to become the biggest smartwatch market • TechCrunch

According to a report by market research player Counterpoint, India overtook North America to take the top spot in the smartwatch market in the quarter that ended in September. Festival sales and the distribution of affordable smartwatches helped the local market grow by 171% year-on-year.

Affordable smartwatch models with larger screens and additional features such as Bluetooth calling were the main sales drivers in India during the festival sales, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint said.

“Indian brands expanding their product portfolio at affordable prices and emphasizing local manufacturing also contributed to the growth,” Counterpoint analyst Anshika Jain said in a note.

“Bluetooth calling has become an important feature, accounting for 58% of all shipments, the largest share to date. Consumers are also opting for larger screen sizes, as evidenced by the fact that more than half of all shipments in the third quarter were between 1.5 and 1.69 inches.

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North America, which was the largest market as of 2020 fourth quarter to 2022 second quarter, up 21% year-over-year, while China and Europe had negative growth.

India’s growth meant that the country’s most popular brand, Noise, took third place in the overall shipment charts – thanks to 218% year-on-year growth – behind only Apple and Samsung.

The smartwatch maker told TechCrunch that it plans to increase local production from 50% to 80% by the end of the year. Local competitor Fire-Boltt, which fell behind Noise in terms of market share, took fourth place in the global ranking.

Apple grew by 48% thanks to excellent sales of the new Apple Watch 8 series, which accounted for 56% of total sales. Samsung posted 6% year-over-year growth despite a 62% increase in shipments compared to the previous quarter.

Counterpoint’s report divides smartwatches into two categories: high-level operating system smartwatches (HLOS), which include devices from companies such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Garmin and Amazfit; and what it calls “core” smartwatches, which feature a lighter operating system and are less expensive. Noise, Fire-Bollt, and BoAT all fall into the latter category.

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The research shop said the HLOS segment grew by 23%, while mainstream smartwatches more than doubled to take 35% of the market. Apple currently dominates the HLOS market with about 50% of the market, with Samsung in second place.

Video Credits: Counterpoint

“This remarkable increase in mainstream smartwatch shipments shows that the market base is rapidly expanding towards more affordable segments, with aggressive supply drive.” However, in terms of revenue, the HLOS smartwatch outperforms the mainstream smartwatch with a market size of nearly 10x due to its high average selling price (ASP),” research analyst Woojin Son said in a statement.

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Earlier this month, analyst firm IDC released a report on the Indian wearables market, noting that the smartwatch segment grew by 178%, with more than 12 million units shipped in the quarter ended September. This growth can also be attributed to a drop in smartwatch prices in the region, as the average selling price (ASP) fell from $60 to $41.9 over the year, the report said. IDC says the ASP for basic smartwatches is $27.5, compared to an ASP of $330 for advanced smartwatches. This suggests that Indian consumers are likely to opt for cheaper alternatives to the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch.

All India-based smartwatch manufacturers have committed to ramp up local production in the coming months to boost production. This could help them further reduce device prices and increase shipments to catch up with Samsung and Apple in unit shipments.


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