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India beats North America to become largest smartwatch market • londonbusinessblog.com

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According to a report from a market research player, India surpassed North America to take the top spot globally in the smartwatch market in the quarter ending September. Counterpoint. Festival sales and the rise in affordable smartwatches helped the local market grow 171% year over year.

The affordable smartwatch models that got larger screens and added features like Bluetooth calling were key selling points in India during the festival sales, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint said.

“Indian brands expanding their product portfolios at affordable prices and an emphasis on local manufacturing also contributed to the growth,” Counterpoint analyst Anshika Jain said in a statement.

“Bluetooth calling emerged as a key feature, with a 58% share of total shipments, the highest share to date. Consumers also prefer larger screen sizes, evidenced by the fact that more than half of total shipments in the third quarter came from the 1.5”-1.69” screen size.”

North America, the top market from Q4 2020 to Q2 2022, grew 21% year-over-year, while China and Europe experienced negative growth.

India’s growth led the country’s top brand, Noise, to rank third in the overall shipment charts – thanks to a 218% year-on-year growth – behind only Apple and Samsung.

The smartwatch maker told londonbusinessblog.com it plans to scale up its local production from 50% to 80% by the end of the year. Local rival Fire-Boltt, which was only one percent behind Noise in terms of market share, took fourth place in the world ranking.

Apple grew 48% thanks to great sales of the new Apple Watch 8 Series, which accounted for 56% of total sales. Samsung grew 6% year over year, despite a 62% increase in shipments from the previous quarter.

Counterpoint report separates smartwatches into two categories: High-level operating system smartwatches (HLOS), which includes devices from companies like Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Garmin, and Amazfit; and what it calls “basic” smartwatches that have a lighter operating system and are more affordable. Noise, Fire-Bollt and BoAT operate in the latter category.

The research store said the HLOS segment grew 23%, while basic smartwatches more than doubled, resulting in a 35% market share. Apple currently dominates the HLOS market with a market share of about 50%, while Samsung ranks second.

Image Credits: Counterpoint

“This notable increase in standard smartwatch shipments shows us that the market base is rapidly expanding into more accessible segments amid aggressive supply-side drivers. Still, in terms of sales, the HLOS smartwatch overwhelms the basic smartwatch with a market size of almost 10 times due to its high average selling price (ASP), research analyst Woojin Son said in a statement.

This was announced by analyst firm IDC earlier this month a report in India’s wearable market, noting that the smartwatch segment grew 178% with more than 12 million units shipped in the quarter ended September. The report said this growth could also be attributed to declining smartwatch prices in the region, as the average retail price (ASP) fell from $60 to $41.9 in a year. IDC says the ASP of basic smartwatches is $27.5 compared to the $330 ASP of advanced smartwatches. This is an indication that Indian consumers are likely to go for cheaper alternatives than the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

All India-based smartwatch manufacturers have committed to rapidly ramping up their local production output in the coming months to boost production rates. This could help them further reduce device prices and increase shipments to catch up with Samsung and Apple in terms of unit shipments.

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