India overtook North America to claim the top global position in the smartwatch market in the quarter ended September, according to a report by market research player Counterpoint. Festive sales and proliferation of affordable smartwatches helped the local market grow by 171% year-on-year.
Hong Kong-headquartered Counterpoint said affordable smartwatch models getting larger displays and adding features like Bluetooth calling were key selling points in India during the festive season.
“Indian brands expanding their product portfolios at affordable prices and emphasizing local manufacturing also contributed to the growth,” Counterpoint analyst Anshika Jain said in a statement.
“Bluetooth-calling emerged as a key feature, contributing a 58% share of total shipments, the highest share ever. Consumers are preferring larger display sizes, evident from the fact that more than half of total shipments in Q3 came from the 1.5”-1.69” display size.
North America, which was the top market from Q4 2020 to Q2 2022, grew 21% year-on-year while China and Europe had negative growth.
India’s growth means the country’s top brand Noise has captured third place in the overall shipment list – thanks to 218% year-on-year growth – trailing only Apple and Samsung.
The smartwatch maker told TechCrunch that it aims to scale its local production from 50% to 80% by the end of the year. Local rival Fire-Bolt, just a percentage point behind Noyce in market share, took fourth place in the global rankings.
Apple grew 48% thanks to stellar sales of the new Apple Watch 8 series, which accounted for 56% of overall sales. Samsung grew 6% year-over-year despite recording a 62% increase in shipments from the previous quarter.
The Counterpoint report divides smartwatches into two categories: high-end operating system smartwatches (HLOS), which includes devices from companies such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Garmin and Amazfit; And it calls for “basic” smartwatches that feature a lighter operating system and are more affordable. Noise, Fire-Bolt and Bot operate in the latter category.
The research shop said the HLOS segment grew by 23%, while basic smartwatches grew more than twice as much – resulting in a commanding 35% market share. Apple currently has about 50% market share in the HLOS market, with Samsung second on the chart.
“This significant increase in basic smartwatch shipments shows us that the market base is rapidly expanding towards more accessible segments amid aggressive drives from the supply side. But still, in terms of revenue, the HLOS smartwatch outperforms the basic smartwatch with nearly 10 times the market size due to its higher average selling price (ASP). outperform,” research analyst Woojin Sun said in a statement.
Earlier this month, analyst firm IDC published a report on India’s wearables market, showing that the smartwatch segment grew by 178% with 12 million units shipped in the quarter ended September. The report attributed this growth to declining smartwatch prices in the region as the average selling price (ASP) fell from $60 to $41.9 in a year. IDC says the ASP of basic smartwatches is $27.5 compared to the $330 ASP of advanced smartwatches. This is an indicator that Indian consumers are more likely to go for cheaper alternatives than Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch.
All India-based smartwatch manufacturers have committed to rapidly scale up their local manufacturing output in the coming months to boost production rates. This will help drive down device prices further and increase shipments to catch up with Samsung and Apple in unit shipments.