Ear-worn devices drive India wearables market to record growth

Apple AirPods are hot in India.

In a country that is known for loud road traffic, it is not surprising that ear-worn devices are in hot demand. According to IDC, earwear led the wearables market with 443.6 percent growth to 8.5 million units in 2019.

India-based BoAt Lifestyle leads with 27.3 percent market share in this category. In the wireless segment, Apple retained pole position with its AirPods range, garnering 43.1 percent market share.

“Ear-worn devices have found huge appeal with consumers, who are spoiled for choice with a variety of models at different price points. Affordable neckbands are leading the charge of migration from wired to wireless in this category,” said Anisha Dumbre , Market Analyst of IDC India.

Overall, the wearables market in India recorded a stunning 168.3 percent growth with 14.9 million units year-on-year in 2019.

Basic wearables dominate with a 96.2 percent category share, up 177 percent from 2018. Smart wearables that can run third-party applications on the device itself, accounted for 3.8 percent of the wearable shipment in 2019.

Smartwatches continue to lead the watch category with 61.1 percent share in 2019, up 53.6 percent from the previous year. Fossil is the leader with 30.3 percent market share with Apple second with 26.6 percent.

“The wearables market is in a state of flux with new form factors and brands entering every few months. Vendors are recognising the growth potential of the wearable devices and unlocking new use cases for a holistic wearable experience,” said Jaipal Singh , Associate Research Manager of Client Devices at IDC India.

“India is still underpenetrated when it comes to the adoption of wearables for health. Growing concerns around lifestyle diseases have certainly helped wearables to get initial traction for weight control and physical activity monitoring. However, the market is yet to scale beyond the key cities. Vendors will need to continue to experiment in this segment to explore scalable opportunities,” he added.