The India wearables market grew 170.3 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2021, between January and March, shipping 11.4 million units according to the recent data from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

As per the report, the market was led by strong momentum in the watch and earwear categories leading to India’s highest-ever first-quarter shipments.

Earwear, wrist bands, watch categories held 81.2 per cent, 6.7 per cent and 12.1 per cent market share, respectively, in the Indian wearables market.

Watches grew 463.8 per cent YoY in Q1 2021 to become the fastest-growing category in wearables. The overall wristwear category, which includes wrist bands and watches, rose 74.8 per cent YoY in this quarter.

However, shipments for overall wearables fell by 24.9 per cent sequentially in Q1 2021, owing primarily to a drop in earwear shipments. The earwear category meanwhile experienced a quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) decline of 28.6 per cent in the quarter. The decline can be primarily attributed to the leftover inventory with channel partners as it restricted the fresh buying in this quarter.

“The ongoing consumer enthusiasm for earwear devices demonstrates the category's healthy appetite. Vendors are trying to capitalize on the ride with low and mid-priced devices. This is not only helping lower the category's ASP but also adding improved features to acquire new users,” said Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India.

Dumbre added, “The challenges faced by the offline channel due to pandemic had started to witness some normalcy, and vendors also explored the offline expansion as a crucial means to improve their businesses in both hearables and wristwear category. However, the onset of the second wave has again halted the retail sales as most of the key cities are going through lockdowns, further pushing the offline expansion of companies for the next two quarters.”

Top players

Xiaomi maintained its lead in the wristband category with a 37.3 per cent category share in this quarter. OnePlus, the new entrant in this category, came in second, replacing Realme with a 25.2 per cent share in the quarter.

Shipments of watches totalled 1.4 million in Q121. Noise continued to lead the category with a 26.7 per cent share, followed by BoAt with a 21.9 per cent share.

The Earwear category grew 209.3 per cent YoY with 9.3 million shipments in the first quarter of the year. BoAt led the overall earwear category with a 29.3 per cent share, followed by OnePlus accounting for a 15.1 per cent share in this category.

The Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) category grew 284.4 per cent YoY with a 35.0 per cent share in the overall earwear category. This category was also led by BoAt with a 25.6 per cent share and One Plus finished second with an 11.9 per cent share in 1Q21, mainly supported by OnePlus Buds Z, as per the report.

Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India said, “From style to health monitoring, the wearables have now become one of the most sophisticated devices in recent times. The category is witnessing a constant shift in the competitive landscape with new players entering the segment.”

Singh further added, “The second wave of the pandemic has caused a sudden stir across vendors and channel partners, impacting the planned launches to postpone and delay in deliveries. However, over last year, the value of wearables has rapidly expanded, and hence, the demand for these devices is expected to continue strong in 2021.”