India overtook North America to take the top spot in the global smartwatch market in the quarter ended September, according to a report by market research firm Counterpoint. A surge in festive sales and affordable smartwatches helped the local market grow by 171% year-on-year.
Hong Kong-based Counterpoint said affordable smartwatch models with larger displays and added features such as Bluetooth calling were key selling factors in India during the festive sale.
“Indian brands expanding their product portfolio at affordable prices and emphasizing local manufacturing also contributed to the growth,” Counterpoint analyst Anshika Jain said in a statement.
“Bluetooth calling became an important feature, accounting for 58% of total shipments, the highest share by far. Consumers also prefer larger display sizes, which is reflected in the fact that more than half of total shipments in the third quarter came from The fact that the 1.5”-1.69” monitor size shows.”
North America is the largest market from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2022, with a year-on-year growth of 21%, while China and Europe have negative growth.
India’s growth meant that the country’s top brand Noise ranked third in the overall shipment chart – thanks to a 218% year-on-year increase – behind Apple and Samsung.
The smartwatch maker told TechCrunch that it aims to expand its local production from 50 percent to 80 percent by the end of this year. Local competitor Fire-Boltt, which is just one percentage point behind Noise in market share, is fourth in the global rankings.
Apple grew 48% to account for 56% of total sales, thanks to stellar sales of the new Apple Watch Series 8. Although shipments increased 62% from the previous quarter, Samsung still grew 6% year-on-year.
The Counterpoint report divides smartwatches into two categories: high-level operating system smartwatches (HLOS), which include devices from companies such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Garmin and Amazfit; and what it calls “basic” smartwatches, which feature more portable OS and more affordable. Noise, Fire-Bollt, and BoAT fall into the latter category.
The research house said the HLOS segment grew 23 percent, while basic smartwatches more than doubled to capture 35 percent of the market. Apple currently dominates the HLOS market with about 50% market share, while Samsung is in second place.
“The significant growth in basic smartwatch shipments shows us that the market base is rapidly expanding into more accessible segments, driven aggressively by the supply side. However, in terms of revenue, HLOS smartwatches High average selling price (ASP), overwhelming basic smartwatches with nearly 10 times the market size,” research analyst Woojin Son said in a statement.
Earlier this month, analyst firm IDC released a report on the Indian wearables market, noting that the smartwatch segment grew by 178 percent, with shipments exceeding 12 million units in the quarter ended September. The increase could also be attributed to a drop in smartwatch prices in the region, as the average selling price (ASP) fell from $60 to $41.9 in a year, the report said. IDC said the average selling price of a basic smartwatch is $27.5, while the average price of a premium smartwatch is $330. This suggests that Indian consumers may opt for cheaper alternatives to the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
All Indian smartwatch makers have pledged to rapidly increase local manufacturing output in the coming months to boost productivity. This could help them further reduce device prices and increase shipments to catch up with Samsung and Apple in unit shipments.