boAt and Noise Lead India’s Booming Wearable Market, Surpassing 48.1 Million Units: IDC Report Unveils Key Insights


The wearable market in India is experiencing a rapid surge, as evidenced by a remarkable 29.2% year-on-year growth. The third quarter of 2023 saw an impressive shipment of 48.1 million units, contributing to a robust total of 105.9 million units in the first three quarters of the year, surpassing the entire shipment volume for 2022. The insights shared by the International Data Corporation (IDC) shed light on this flourishing landscape and the prominent players dominating the Indian wearable market.


What’s Driving the Growth?

The growth trajectory is attributable to several factors. One of the key drivers is the launch of new wearable models across diverse price segments and categories. Notably, smart rings made their debut in the market alongside the popular smartwatches and earwear. An interesting trend accompanying this growth is the significant drop in the average price for wearables by 20.4%, making them more accessible to consumers, now standing at US$21.7 from US$27.2.


Proliferation of Smartwatches and Earwear

Smartwatches emerged as the frontrunners, witnessing a substantial 41.0% year-on-year growth, amounting to 16.9 million units shipped. Market strategies involving discounts and offers substantially reduced the average price by 35.3% year-on-year to US$26.7. Nevertheless, the introduction of more advanced smartwatches slightly raised the average price during the quarter.


Earwear, despite a minor dip in market share, experienced significant growth of 23.6%, shipping 30.9 million units. The Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) segment dominated with a commanding 68.4% share and an impressive 46.7% year-on-year growth. TWS and neckband prices dropped by 17.1% and 4.6% year-on-year, settling at US$19.5 and US$14.2, respectively.


Insights and Predictions for the Market

Vikas Sharma, Senior Market Analyst at IDC India, anticipates a robust closure to 2023. He attributes this optimistic outlook to brands offering premium features at competitive entry-level prices. Looking ahead to 2024, there’s an expected trend focusing on localized features and an enriched user experience to cater to the ever-evolving preferences of consumers.


Channel Dynamics and Emerging Innovations

Offline channels remarkably surged to a 31.5% share, marking a significant shift and emphasizing the importance of brands expanding their presence, especially in smaller cities. The emergence of smart rings has been notable, with Ultrahuman leading the segment with an impressive 75.5% market share, followed by Pi Ring at 10.9% and boAt at 8.2%.


Dominant Players in the Indian Wearable Market

The wearable landscape showcases a few frontrunners. boAt continues to dominate with a 29.7% share, exhibiting growth at 19.4%. Its dominance extends to the TWS category, commanding a substantial 37.9% share and a commendable 33.3% year-on-year growth. Noise holds a 10.8% share with a marginal 0.6% year-on-year growth. Fire – Boltt, OPPO (OPPO + OnePlus), and Boult Audio also maintain strong positions with noteworthy year-on-year growth rates.


Prospects for the Wearables Market

The Indian wearable market is on an upward trajectory, fueled by competitive pricing strategies and a diverse range of offerings. The trends witnessed in 2023 indicate promising growth prospects for 2024, foreseeing a focus on localized features to cater to the diverse consumer preferences across the country.


3Q23 Top 5 Wearable Company Highlights

boAt (Imagine Marketing) continues to dominate the overall wearable market with 29.7% share, growing by 19.4%. In TWS too, it maintained leadership with 37.9% share, 33.3% growth YoY. It stood third in the smartwatch category with 14.2% market share. Airdopes 131, 161,141 and Alpha accounted for 42.6% of its TWS shipments. The Storm Call and Storm Call 2 contributed to 14.9% of its smartwatch shipments. It continues to partner with Qualcomm, Dolby, and Dirac to bring new audio related features and is also expanding its India based manufacturing partner panel.


Noise (Nexxbase) stood second in overall wearables with 10.8% share and flat 0.6% YoY shipment growth. It dropped to second in the smartwatch category with 20.7% market share and maintained its fourth position in the TWS segment at 7.7% share, growing by 20.4% YoY. The Noise Colorfit Pulse 2 Max, Icon 2 Elite, Icon 2 and Crew contributed 35.8% of its smartwatch shipments. Noise announced its foray into the smart ring segment in 3Q23.


Fire – Boltt stood third with 8.7% share and 25.7% growth YoY in the overall wearable category. It reclaimed leadership in the smartwatch category with 23.6% share, growing by 27.0% YoY. A balanced product portfolio across price segments, with robust omnichannel presence cemented its position. The Phoenix Series and Ninja Call series led its smartwatches in 3Q23. Furthermore, several exclusive brand kiosks were opened to offer a firsthand consumer experience in the offline channel.


OPPO (OPPO + OnePlus) stood fourth with 8.5% share and growth of 12.1% YoY. The company stood third in TWS with 8.0% share, growing by 30.4% YoY, and stood second in neckbands with 26.3% share. The Buds 2R, Enco Buds 2 & Nord Buds 2 accounted for 74.7% TWS shipments. An ANC variant of the well-received OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z2, alongside the Nord Buds 2r, were launched, with emphasis on affordability. Additionally, the Oppo Enco Air 3 with ANC was launched.


Boult Audio stood fifth with a 5.8% share and 267.6% YoY growth in 3Q23. It retained second place in the TWS category with an 8.6% share and 387.7% YoY growth. Airbass Z40 and Y1 contributed 51.4% of its shipments in the TWS category. However, the company slipped to sixth position in smartwatch category with 55.8% of its shipments from models like the Drift, Crown, and Drift Plus. The introduction of new metal smartwatches should significantly boost shipments in October/November. The company also forayed into offline channels in 3Q23.


Others – Titan and BeatXP placed fourth and fifth in the smartwatch category with 5.1% and 3.4% share respectively. In TWS, Samsung (JBL+Infinity+Samsung) placed in fifth position with 3.5% share with 45.1% growth YoY, while Mivi (Seminole) moved to sixth position with 3.5% share.


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