The Indian wearables market has been witnessing one of its finest phases during the pandemic. After achieving record shipments last year, the segment again posted volumes of 11.4 million units during January-March 2021, the highest ever recorded in the first quarter of any calendar year.
The market grew 170.3% year on year (y-o-y) in Q1 2021 on the back of a strong momentum in watch and earwear categories, IDC India said. Watches grew 463.8% y-o-y to become the fastest-growing category in wearables, replacing earwear. A total of 1.4 million watches were shipped in Q1 2021, the second quarter in a row to record over a million shipments for watches, it said.
The overall wristwear category, including wrist bands and watches, grew 74.8% y-o-y in the first quarter.
“The ongoing consumer enthusiasm for earwear devices demonstrates the category’s healthy appetite. Vendors are trying to capitalise on the ride with low- and mid-priced devices. This is not only helping lower the category’s average selling price (ASP) but also adding improved features to acquire new users,” IDC India market analyst Anisha Dumbre said.
In watches, with a surge of low-cost devices in the market, the ASP fell to $88 (around Rs 6,000-Rs 6,200). Moreover, the ASP also declined by 31% from the previous quarter, highlighting that vendors are aggressively capitalising on this market by introducing more affordable devices.
The offline channel, which faced challenges due to Covid-19, started to witness some normalcy and vendors explored offline expansion as a crucial means to improve businesses in both hearables and wristwear, she said.
However, the second wave has again halted retail sales as key cities are going through lockdowns, further pushing the offline expansion of companies for the next two quarters, Dumbre said.
On the growth of the Indian wearables market, IDC India associate research manager (client devices), Jaipal Singh said, “From style to health monitoring, wearables have now become one of the most sophisticated devices in recent times. The category is witnessing a constant shift in the competitive landscape with new players entering the segment.”
The second wave of infections has impacted planned launches and delayed deliveries. However, over the last year, the value of wearables has rapidly expanded. The demand for these devices is expected to continue strong in 2021, he said.