Wearable Gadgets Sell in Record Numbers in 2019, Earphones Lead the Charge: IDC India

Earphones, wristbands, and smartwatches make up most of the segment.

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Wearable Gadgets Sell in Record Numbers in 2019, Earphones Lead the Charge: IDC India

The Apple AirPods range leads the true wireless earphones segment in India

Highlights
  • 14.9 million wearable gadgets were shipped in 2019
  • Ear-worn products make up more than half of the shipments
  • The AirPods range led the way in the true wireless earphones segment

Even as the global smartphone market sees slow growth and stagnating shipment numbers, wearable gadgets are bucking the trends. Whether it's ear-worn products with some smart capabilities, wristbands, or smartwatches, the segment has been defying typical global trends in the gadgets and consumer electronics space. The wearables segment is growing at record pace in India, with 14.9 million units shipped in 2019 across various categories in the segment, according to a new report by research and analytics firm IDC India.

According to IDC India's estimates for its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, about 14.9 million wearable gadgets were shipped in India in 2019. These devices include ear-worn devices, wristbands, and watches. Earwear - defined by IDC as a device offering functionality beyond audio, such as smart assistance, fitness tracking, or audio experience enhancements - led the way in the wearables space with 8.5 million shipments (57 percent of the segment). Wristbands such as fitness trackers had a market share of 35.3 percent, while smartwatches accounted for 6.3 percent of the total shipments.

idc chart wearables IDC India

Wearable shipments grew at 168 percent year-on-year in 2019

 

While the overall market grew at 168 percent year-on-year, the ear-worn gadgets segment grew much faster at 443 percent year-on-year. This can be credited to the fact that many wireless earphones today come with some smart functionality; these devices usually feature easy access to voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa. Boat Lifestyle, a popular audio brand in India, was the leading brand in the earwear category, with 27.3 percent market share.

Narrowing down to the popular true wireless earphones segment specifically, the report states that the Apple AirPods range led the space with a market share of 43.1 percent. Wrist bands saw healthy year-on-year growth of 52.6 percent, but are no longer the leading product type thanks to the massive growth of ear-worn gadgets. Xiaomi was the leader in the wristband space, with Titan's fledgling range of products coming in second.

About 933,000 smartwatches were shipped in India in 2019, with Fossil and Apple leading the way. The Fossil group markets smartwatches under its various brands, including Fossil, Diesel, and Skagen. Although expensive, the Apple Watch range was popular in India as well.

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Ali Pardiwala

Ali has over eight years of experience in the technology space, specialising in writing about all kinds of audio gear and TVs. He’s reviewed all kinds of headphones, speakers, audio gear, and televisions over the years, and is the in-house expert on all gadgets with screens and audio drivers. He is of the firm belief that truly wireless earphones are the future, and will always recommend a 4K TV, but not necessarily a smart TV. In his spare time, Ali likes to watch TV shows and movies ...More

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