According to a report by market researcher Counterpoint, India overtook North America to become the global leader in the smartwatch market in the quarter ending in September. Festival sales and expansion of affordable smartwatches helped the domestic market grow 171% year-on-year.
Hong Kong-based Counterpoint said affordable smartwatch models with larger screens and additional features like Bluetooth calling were key selling factors in its Indian festival sales.
“Indian brands expanding their affordable product portfolio and focusing on local manufacturing also contributed to the growth,” Counterpoint analyst Anshika Jain said in a statement.
“Bluetooth connectivity emerged as a key feature, accounting for 58% of all shipments, the highest percentage on record. Consumers also prefer larger screens, as evidenced by screen sizes of 1.5 in more than half of shipments in Q3. At 1.69.”
North America, which was the leading market from Q4 2020 to Q2 2022, grew 21 percent year-on-year, while China and Europe showed negative growth.
India's growth means that India's leading brand, Noise, has climbed to third place in the overall shipment charts, behind Apple and Samsung, thanks to 218% year-on-year growth.
The smartwatch maker told TechCrunch that it plans to increase domestic production from 50% to 80% by the end of the year. Local competitor Fire-Bolt ranks fourth in the world with just 1 percent market share.
Apple accounted for 56 percent of its total sales, with sales of the new Apple Watch Series 8 increasing by 48 percent. Samsung grew 6% year-over-year, despite a 62% year-over-year increase.
The Counterpoint report divides smartwatches into two categories: smartwatches with a high-level operating system (HLOS), which includes devices from companies like Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Garmin, and Amazon; and what he calls "simple" smartwatches with a simple and cost-effective operating system. Noise, Fire-Bolt, and BoAT fall into the latter category.
The research studio's HLOS segment grew by 23%, and core smartwatches doubled, capturing 35% of the market share. The HLOS market is currently dominated by Apple with a 50% market share, and Samsung ranks second.
“This significant increase in shipments of premium smartwatches tells us that the market base is rapidly expanding into more accessible segments due to strong supply-side efforts,” said research analyst Wojin Son. press release.
Earlier this month, analyst firm IDC released a report on the wearables market in India, noting that the smartwatch segment grew by 178%, with more than 12 million units shipped by the end of September. According to the report, this increase can be attributed to lower prices for smartwatches in the region, with the average selling price (ASP) dropping from $60 to $41.9 annually. IDC says the ASP for the basic smartwatch is $27.5, compared to $330 for the high-end smartwatch. This is an indication that Indian consumers prefer cheaper alternatives to the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch.
All smart watch manufacturers in India have pledged to increase their domestic production in the coming months to increase production. This will help them lower the price of the device and increase shipments to catch Samsung and Apple in terms of units.