India’s Wearable Market Surges by 34% in 2023: IDC

India’s wearable market has achieved unprecedented growth of 34 percent, reaching a record 134.2 million units by the end of 2023.
boat wearablesThe final quarter of the year, from October to December, witnessed a substantial increase with 28.4 million units, marking a 12.7 percent year-over-year growth, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a recent report.

Despite facing challenges of overstocking in the second half of 2023, fueled by numerous new launches, promotional offers, and discounts during the festive season, India’s wearable market showed resilience, IDC said.

The average selling price (ASP) for wearables declined by 15.4 percent, dropping from US$25 to US$21.2 in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Key Trends of 2023:

Smartwatch Dominance: Smartwatch shipments experienced 73.7 percent year increase, totaling 53.4 million units. The share of smartwatches within the wearables segment surged to 39.8 percent from 30.7 percent in 2022. This growth was propelled by festive season sales and discounts, leading to a significant drop in ASPs from US$42.5 to US$26.1. However, the share of advanced smartwatches shrank to 2.1 percent, with a total of 1.1 million units.

Earwear Growth: The earwear category witnessed a 16.9 percent growth, reaching 80.4 million units. Notably, the Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) segment captured a record share of 67.3 percent, up from 55.3 percent in 2022, showing a remarkable 42.3 percent growth. Conversely, neckband shipments declined by 15.2 percent. The average selling price for earwear decreased by 8.2 percent, settling at US$18.2.

Top Vendors: Leading wearable vendors such as BoAt, Noise, and Fire-Bolt maintained their positions in India’s wearable market through diverse product portfolios and constant innovations, albeit at lower ASPs.

Boult Audio witnessed the highest growth among the top five vendors.

Additionally, new entrants like BeatXP made significant strides in the smartwatch category, leveraging aggressive online marketing strategies. Titan climbed to the fourth position by strategically launching multiple models across various price segments.

Distribution Channels: Shipments to offline channels outpaced online channels, recording a 55.6 percent growth. The offline channel’s share increased to 31 percent in 2023, up from 26.7 percent in 2022. However, online channel shipments also grew by 26.1 percent.

Insights and Predictions:

According to Anand Priya Singh, Market Analyst at IDC India, the surge in demand for smartwatches is driven by affordability, low product penetration, and a wide range of options. However, the growing popularity of non-branded alternatives poses a challenge to incumbent vendors, necessitating innovative strategies to attract first-time users.

The smart ring category garnered significant attention in the latter half of 2023, with over 100 thousand units shipped and an average selling price of US$171.6. Ultrahuman emerged as the leader in the market, followed closely by Pi Ring and Aabo.

Vikas Sharma, Senior Market Analyst at IDC India, anticipates single-digit growth for wearables in 2024. Vendors are expected to focus on accelerating their omnichannel strategies, particularly targeting Tier 3 cities and beyond.

The proliferation of smartwatches with advanced features such as LTE SIM/eSIM connectivity and enhanced health sensors is expected, along with more affordable options. In the earwear segment, premium features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and multi-device pairing are likely to become available at affordable prices.