India's wearables market is the right fit for healthtech

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India's wearables market is the right fit for healthtech
The Indian wearables market grew a massive 170.3 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2021, between January and March, shipping 11.4 million units.Courtesy: Getty Images

Strong momentum in watch and earwear categories and demand for healthtech lead to record quarter for shipments.

A strong momentum in the watch and earwear categories have contributed to India’s highest-ever first quarter shipments for the wearables industry – offering yet another high-growth area for companies and investors to focus on as economic opportunities in the world’s largest democracy continue to grow in the post-pandemic era.

According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the Indian wearables market grew a massive 170.3 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2021, between January and March, shipping 11.4 million units.

Watches grew 463.8 per cent (YoY) in Q1 to become the fastest-growing category in wearables, replacing earwear which also maintains a triple-digit growth in the first quarter. The overall wristwear category, which includes wristbands and watches, grew 74.8 per cent YoY in the quarter.

Among other factors, the alignment of these products with healthtech and health monitoring apps have also been a key catalyst.

Competitive landscape

"From style to health monitoring, the 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," said Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India said.

The ongoing consumer enthusiasm for earwear devices demonstrates the category's healthy appetite. Vendors are trying to capitalize on the ride with low and mid-priced devices. This is not only helping lower the category's ASP but also adding improved features to acquire new users.
- Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India

Over the past few months, the wearables market in India has seen the balance shift in favour of Indian companies. Delhi-based BoAt Lifestyle became the number one brand in earbuds (TWS) in September while Gurugram-based Noise was the leading smartwatch brand in both June and September quarter. “The way health and hygiene have become critical for everyone post covid-19, wearables segment will grow more. Going forward wearables will have more features that will become part of daily lifestyle," said Gaurav Khatri, CEO, Noise.

But with the market growing at a rapid pace, there are opportunities galore for everyone.

A wireless device to transfer patient tracker information. In the wristbands category, Xiaomi maintained its lead with a 37.3 per cent category share.
A wireless device to transfer patient tracker information. In the wristbands category, Xiaomi maintained its lead with a 37.3 per cent category share.Courtesy: Getty Images

Healthy appetite

"The ongoing consumer enthusiasm for earwear devices demonstrates the category's healthy appetite. Vendors are trying to capitalize on the ride with low and mid-priced devices. This is not only helping lower the category's ASP but also adding improved features to acquire new users," said Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India.

In the wristbands category, Xiaomi maintained its lead with a 37.3 per cent category share. OnePlus, the new entrant in this category, finished second, replacing realme with a 25.2 per cent share in Q1.

A total of 1.4 million watches were shipped in Q1. Noise continued to lead the category with a 26.7 per cent share, followed by BoAt with a 21.9 per cent. "The second wave of the pandemic has caused a sudden stir across vendors and channel partners, impacting the planned launches to postpone and delay in deliveries," Singh said.

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