According to a report by market research player Counterpoint, India overtook North America to take the top spot in the smartwatch market in the quarter ended September. Festival sales and the proliferation of affordable smartwatches fueled the local market’s 171% year-on-year growth.
Affordable smartwatch models getting larger displays and adding features like Bluetooth calling were key sales drivers in India during the festival sales, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint said.
Counterpoint analyst Anshika Jain said in a statement: “Indian brands are expanding their product portfolio at affordable prices and the emphasis on local manufacturing has also contributed to growth.”
“Bluetooth calling emerged as an important feature, accounting for 58% of total shipments, the highest share to date. Consumers also preferred larger display sizes, which accounted for more than half of the total shipments in the 3rd quarter were taken from display sizes of 1.5 – 1.69 inches.
North America, which was the top market from Q4 2020 to Q2 2022, grew 21% annually, while China and Europe experienced negative growth.
India’s growth meant the country’s top brand Noise took third place in the overall shipment charts – thanks to a 218% year-on-year increase – behind only Apple and Samsung.
The smartwatch maker told TechCrunch that it plans to increase its local production from 50% to 80% by the end of the year. Local rival Fire-Bolt, which was only one percent behind Noise in market share, took fourth place in the global ranking.
Apple grew by 48% due to the star sales of the new Apple Watch 8 series, which accounted for 56% of total sales. Samsung grew 6% in the previous quarter despite a 62% increase in shipments.
Counterpoint’s report divides smartwatches into two categories: High Level Operating System (HLOS) smartwatches, which are devices from companies such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Garmin and Amazfit; and what it calls “basic” smartwatches, which have a lighter and more affordable operating system. In the last category of sound, Fire-Bollt and BoAT work.
The research shop said the HLOS segment grew 23%, while mainstream smartwatches more than doubled, resulting in a 35% market share. Apple currently dominates the HLOS market with around 50% market share, while Samsung is second in the table.
“This significant increase in the main shipment of smart watches shows us that the market base is rapidly expanding towards more affordable segments in the face of aggressive drives by supply. However, from a revenue point of view, HLOS smart watches due to its average selling price (ASP) is about 10 times larger,” research analyst Woojin Son said in a statement.
Earlier this month, analyst firm IDC released a report on India’s wearables market, noting that the smartwatch segment grew by 178%, with more than 12 million units shipped in the quarter ending September. This increase can be attributed to lower prices of smartwatches in the region, as the average selling price (ASP) fell from $60 to $41.9 a year, the report said. IDC says that the ASP of the basic smartwatch is $27.5, compared to the $330 ASP of the advanced smartwatch. This indicates that Indian consumers are likely to opt for cheaper alternatives to the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
All Indian smartwatch manufacturers have committed to ramp up their local production in the coming months to ramp up production. This could help them further reduce device prices and increase shipments to catch up with Samsung and Apple in unit shipments.