India’s Wearable Market Surges, Smart Rings Emerge as New Contender in 3Q23

The wearable technology market in India has witnessed unprecedented growth, shipping an all-time high of 48.1 million units in the third quarter of 2023, marking a remarkable 29.2 percent year-over-year increase, according to IDC.
forecast on wearables businessThis surge propelled the cumulative shipments for the year to 105.9 million units, surpassing the total units shipped in the entirety of 2022, which stood at 100.1 million units. The driving force behind this surge remains the continuous rollout of new models across various price ranges and product categories by leading brands.

The smartwatch segment emerged as the frontrunner, experiencing the most significant growth, with 16.9 million units shipped, a staggering 41.0 percent increase year-over-year. This surge was fueled by aggressive stocking by existing vendors gearing up for the festive season, accompanied by extensive discounts and offers, resulting in a 35.3 percent year-over-year drop in average selling prices (ASPs) to $26.7 in 3Q23. However, the ASPs exhibited a quarter-on-quarter growth of 4.3 percent, reaching $26.7, primarily due to the increased share of advanced smartwatches and the introduction of premium options in the basic smartwatch segment.

Despite a slight dip in its overall share within wearables, the earwear category continued its growth trajectory, shipping 30.9 million units, marking a 23.6 percent increase. The Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) segment maintained a dominant position, capturing 68.4 percent of the earwear market share, with a robust 46.7 percent year-over-year growth. However, neckbands experienced a 6.9 percent year-over-year decline.

Offline sales surged to a record 31.5 percent share, the highest since the first quarter of 2021, recording a significant 58.3 percent year-over-year increase. In contrast, online channels also experienced growth, albeit at a slower rate of 19.1 percent year-over-year. This underscores the importance of an omnichannel presence for brands, especially as they expand into smaller cities.

A notable trend in 3Q23 was the emergence of smart rings, captivating consumer interest due to their unique form factor and recent launches. Ultrahuman emerged as the leader in this category, commanding a substantial 75.5 percent market share, followed by Pi Ring at 10.9 percent, and boAt (Imagine Marketing) securing an 8.2 percent market share.

Top 5 Wearable Company Highlights in 3Q23

boAt (Imagine Marketing) continued to dominate the wearable market, capturing a commanding 29.7 percent share, witnessing a 19.4 percent growth. Its TWS segment maintained leadership with a 37.9 percent share and a robust 33.3 percent year-over-year growth. Noteworthy models such as Airdopes 131, 161,141, and Alpha contributed significantly to its TWS shipments, while Storm Call and Storm Call 2 led its smartwatch offerings.

Noise (Nexxbase) secured the second position in the overall wearables category with a 10.8 percent share, displaying flat 0.6 percent year-over-year shipment growth. Despite dropping to second place in smartwatches, it maintained a strong fourth position in the TWS segment with a 7.7 percent share. Key contributors to its shipments were Noise Colorfit Pulse 2 Max, Icon 2 Elite, Icon 2, and Crew. Noise also announced its venture into the smart ring segment.

Fire – Boltt claimed the third spot with an 8.7 percent share, marking a remarkable 25.7 percent year-over-year growth in the overall wearable category. It regained its lead in the smartwatch category, holding a 23.6 percent share and growing by 27.0 percent year-over-year. The Phoenix Series and Ninja Call series were pivotal in its smartwatch offerings, and the brand expanded its offline presence with exclusive brand kiosks.

OPPO (OPPO + OnePlus) secured the fourth position with an 8.5 percent share and a growth of 12.1 percent year-over-year. Notably, it ranked third in the TWS category with an 8.0 percent share and stood second in neckbands with a 26.3 percent share. Key models like Buds 2R, Enco Buds 2, and Nord Buds 2 contributed significantly to its TWS shipments. The company emphasized affordability with the launch of new variants like the Oppo Enco Air 3 with ANC.

Boult Audio clinched the fifth spot with a 5.8 percent share, experiencing a staggering 267.6 percent year-over-year growth. It maintained its position as the second-largest player in the TWS category with an 8.6 percent share, attributing its growth to models like Airbass Z40 and Y1. The company also diversified into offline channels in 3Q23.

Other notable players include Titan and BeatXP in the smartwatch category and Samsung (JBL+Infinity+Samsung) and Mivi (Seminole) in the TWS segment.