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According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Quarterly Wearables Tracker, the smart wearables, generally defined as wearables which can run third-party applications on its own, saw two successive quarters of double-digit growth and shipped 102,000 units in the 2018Q3, making it the first quarter to cross the 100,000 units shipment mark in the country. Moreover, thanks to a surge in smartwatch shipment volumes, it has not only helped the category to grow but also gave a new leader in the smart wearables segment as Samsung overtakes Apple to claim the leadership in the 2018Q3.
The overall India wearables market saw a 17% year-over-year (YoY) growth in the third quarter of the year as vendors shipped a total of 897,000 units in the country. However, the overall shipments declined 11% from the previous quarter largely because of the double-digit decline in the basic wearables. Wearables companies had procured a high inventory of basic wearables, mostly on wristbands in the 2018Q2, which they cleared in the initial months of the third quarter. While July and August remain flat in terms of new shipments, September did observe a recovery as vendors started preparing the channel for the upcoming online festivals in the country. This helped to limit the decline of the overall category.
Commenting on the growth of smart wearables, Jaipal Singh , Associate Research Manager, Client Devices , IDC India states, “It is too early to say that the India wearables market has started moving towards the smart wearables. However, vendors have started analyzing the big pricing gaps between the basic and smart wearables. He further adds, “While vendors need to identify a new pricing sweet spot for smartwatches, the next challenge is to address the positioning of watches which is still seen as a vanity product in India. Also, many vendors haven't explored the kid segment which can be a volume driver for this category as they are more comfortable with technology and new products.”
Top Five Wearables Companies in 2018Q3 - India
Xiaomi maintained its leadership in the market for the 5th consecutive quarter with 41% market share in 2018Q3. Although their shipments witnessed a decline of 20% quarter-over-quarter, but it saw a healthy growth of 77% in this quarter when compared to the same time a year ago. The newly launched Mi band 3 became the most shipped wearable product ever in the history of wearables in India.
GOQii continues to hold the 2nd position with a healthy 47% YoY growth and 19% market share in 2018Q3. It remains the leading player in the commercial segment, as two-thirds of its shipments are billed to enterprises under the corporate wellness program. The newest addition in its platform is the video coaching sessions on various health and lifestyle-related categories, and they further extended this support in local languages. It also launched GOQii Stride, an affordable and first of its kind smart step tracker in India that can be worn on your shoes, which helped the brand to strengthen its portfolio in the consumer segment.
Titan phased out its older models and launched Fastrack’s Reflex 2.0 in the 2018Q3. It helped the brand to get a healthy 70% sequential growth in its overall shipments and able to maintain the 3rd position in the overall wearable segment.
Samsung returned to the top five wearable companies in India. It replaced Fitbit as the 4th largest wearables company as its shipments got tripled compared to the previous quarter. Samsung bundled Gear Sport and Galaxy Watch with the launch of Samsung Note 9, and later, offered them at a discounted price which helped the brand to get a strong momentum in this quarter.
Fossil was able to capture the fifth position in 2018Q3 after moving out from the top five in the last quarter. Its shipments witnessed a strong triple-digit sequential growth as Q Explorist Gen 3 recorded healthy shipments in this quarter.
IDC India Wearables market forecast:
“The overall wearable market is expected to continue its double-digit growth in 2019. While the growth of basic wearables will slow down as users look at upgrading to smarter wearable products. However, it will remain the dominant category in India for the next few years. We will see a few more smartwatches with cellular connectivityand also vendors will be looking to explore some of the new categories to provide the solutions around healthcare and lifestyle management”, concluded Navkendar Singh , Associate Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India.