According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) India Monthly Wearable Device Tracker, India’s wearable market shipped 48.1 million units in third quarter (Q3) of 2023, showing a 29.2 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth. With this, the market has shipped 105.9 million units in the first three quarters of 2023, which is more than 100.1 million units shipped in 2022. Continuous new model launches by the brands across price points and product categories is the key reason for this momentum. Apart from the new smartwatch and earwear models, smart rings became prominent in Q3 2023. The overall average selling price (ASPs) declined by 20.4 per cent from $27.2 to $21.7.

Smartwatches remained the fastest growing category with 16.9 million units, growing by 41 per cent YoY as incumbent vendors shipped aggressively to stock for the upcoming festive season. Heavy discounting and offers across channels led to a 35.3 per cent YoY drop in smartwatch ASPs to $26.7 in Q3 2023. However, the ASPs grew quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) by 4.3 per cent, up from $25.6 last quarter, due to the increased share of advanced smartwatches from 1.5 per cent to 2.4 per cent, as well as the introduction of premium options in the basic smartwatch segment.

Within wearables, the share of earwear dropped to 64.4 per cent from 67.3 per cent a year ago, but shipments still grew 23.6 per cent to 30.9 million units. Within earwear, the truly wireless stereo (TWS) segment took 68.4 per cent share with strong growth of 46.7 per cent YoY, whereas neckbands declined by 6.9 per cent YoY. ASPs for TWS and neckbands stood at $19.5 and $14.2 with declines of 17.1 per cent and 4.6 per cent YoY, respectively.

Commenting on the findings, Vikas Sharma, senior market analyst, wearable devices, IDC India, said, “Brands have upped the game with high-end specifications at entry-level pricing. This combined with high-decibel marketing campaigns and promotions will drive the fourth quarter (Q4) 2023 shipments, resulting in strong double digit annual growth in 2023. In 2024, we will see an enhanced focus on localisation of user interface (UI)/ user experience (UX), in-house app integration, SIM-based or standalone calling and Wi-Fi connectivity on basic smartwatches.”

Further, offline channels reached a record 31.5 per cent share, the highest since first quarter (Q1) 2021, growing by 58.3 per cent YoY. Online channels grew by 19.1 per cent YoY due to multiple upcoming sales events and festive stocking. This underlines the importance of an omnichannel presence for brands, especially as they expand into Tier 3/4 cities.

The smart ring category is generating a lot of interest from consumers, particularly due to the interesting form factor and several launches in the past few months. Meanwhile, Upasana Joshi, research manager, client devices, IDC India, said, “Smart rings add novelty to the wearable device space, with brands trying to position it as a fashion accessory and a non-intrusive health device. While currently there are very few models, we can expect more mainstream brands launching more affordable options next year.”

Ultrahuman leads the smart ring category with an impressive 75.5 per cent market share, followed by Pi Ring at 10.9 per cent, and boAt (imagine marketing) with an 8.2 per cent market share in Q3 of 2023.