Wireless earbuds drive wearables growth in India

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While the entire country has been struggling with the coronavirus-led lockdown and businesses have been staring at a steep downward trend, the wearable market in the country has shown a sliver of hope. 

According to IDC’s latest report, wearables in India registered an 80% year on year growth with a shipment of over 4.2 million units in the first quarter of 2020.

IDC notes that this growth is mainly driven by the ear wear category that includes true wireless stereo earbuds which grew at a staggering 289.2% rate compared to the same time last year. The urge to go wire-free, an increasing number of video calls, an increase in media consumption are the few key reasons behind this growth. While remote working and remote education during lockdown also drove the numbers up.

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Out of over 3 million units sold in the ear wear category, boAt leads the segment with a 23.9% market share followed closely by Samsung. Together with JBL and Infinity, Samsung accounts for 23.6% market share. However, when it comes to the truly wireless stereo or earbuds category, Samsung aced Apple with a comfortable 29.8% share while Apple had over 15.9% market share.

It is worth noting that an ear wear to be considered in this category, it has to offer smart features like a smart assistant, health and fitness tracking, audio experience enhancement, or language translation etc.

(Image credit: IDC)

However, the impact of lockdown was rather severe on the wristband category which, as per IDC, witnessed a 28% dip in the year on year numbers. Xiaomi and GOQii remained the top two brands in this category with a market share of 41.9% and 13.6% share. While Xiaomi did experience a major dip in its numbers, it is still way ahead from its competitors when it comes to smart bands.

While the watches segment saw 209.4 thousand shipments in the Q1 this year and grew at 43.3% year on year, further breaking down the numbers reveal that Huami’s Amazfit accounted for 22.4% market share followed by Fossil and Apple with 17.9% And 17.7% market share. Though Apple leads the Smartwatches pack that allows the installation of third-party applications.

Experts at IDC feel that though Covid-19 has had a major impact on the industry as a whole and it experienced a first sequential decline of 17.9% in 1Q20 after growing for the last eight quarters straight. While keeping a positive outlook, the experts feel that the demand is expected to increase in the second quarter, even though the spill-over effect of lockdown is expected to remain for a few quarters.

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