Global smartwatch shipments contracted 1.5 per cent (year-on-year) in the first quarter this year and the 121 per cent growth in India’s shipments managed to restrict the decline, a report showed on Friday. Also Read - Compaq launches its first smartwatch, QWatch, with over 100 watch faces
In terms of the regional markets, India surpassed North America, reclaiming its position as the top region with a 27 per cent share of global smartwatch shipments, according to Counterpoint Research. Also Read - Samsung may use microLED displays in next year's Galaxy Watch
“India’s smartwatch market grew 121 per cent YoY driven by affordability, rising customer demand and availability of a wide variety of options in the budget segment. Around 40 per cent of the total shipments were driven by the less than Rs 2,000 price band, its highest proportion ever,” said senior analyst Anshika Jain.
The share of India-based players crossed 90 per cent for the first time as they were quick in terms of upgrading their portfolios and adapting their products to customer needs at a reasonable price point.
This was the second consecutive quarter of a YoY decrease in global shipments (Q4 2022 saw 8 cent decline), which were hit by the seasonal decline in demand for products from major players like Apple and Samsung, along with consumer sentiment dampened by global financial pressures.
Fire-Boltt surpassed Samsung for the first time in the global smartwatch market, capturing the second spot, according to Counterpoint Research.
“Amid a global slowdown in demand for tech devices, the smartwatch consumption trend has also undergone a transformation. The market share of high-price and high-performance HLOS smartwatches, primarily released by Apple and Samsung, decreased from 60 per cent in Q1 2022 to 53 per cent in Q1 2023,” said Research Analyst Woojin Son.
On the other hand, the market share of basic smartwatches significantly increased from 23 per cent to 34 per cent, driven by rapid growth in the Indian market.
“Although the overall smartwatch shipment volume declined slightly compared to last year, affordable products that offer a certain level of performance generated substantial demand based on their price accessibility,” Son added.
Apple’s shipment volume fell 20 per cent YoY in Q1. This was the first time in three years that its Q1 shipments fell below 10 million units.
Indian brand Fire-Boltt’s shipments increased by approximately three times compared to the previous year and saw a 57 per cent growth compared to the previous quarter.
“This reflects the rapid growth of the Indian market, just like other local brands such as Noise and boAt,” said the report.
Huawei, the most influential Chinese OEM, saw a 14 per cent YoY decline in its shipments in the Chinese market, which is a key market for the company, the report said.