India becomes world's biggest smartwatch market with 171% YoY growth
India has broken the North American hegemony to take the top spot in the global smartwatch market, according to Counterpoint. The country's market saw year-over-year growth of 171% in Q3 of 2022. It was the growth of local brands and the increased availability of affordable models that drove India's journey to the top. Meanwhile, the global smartwatch market registered a 30% YoY growth.
Why does this story matter?
- The year 2022 has been marred by inflation and geopolitical tension. None of that seemed to have affected the global smartwatch market.
- Aided by its local companies, India produced a magnificent leap to the top of the table. Feature-rich yet affordable products have always caught the attention of the Indian public and that's what helped India pip North America.
China and Europe registered negative growth in shipments
In Q3, India's smartwatch market grew by 171% YoY, pushing it to first place. North America, which occupied the top spot from Q4 2020 to Q2 2022, registered a 21% YoY increase in shipments. China saw a 6% YoY decrease in its shipments due to the zero-COVID policy and the ensuing economic downturn. Europe also registered negative growth.
Festive season, Indian brands, and local manufacturing drove India's growth
The astounding growth of India's smartwatch market was attributed to the festive season, expansion of portfolio by Indian brands at affordable prices, and emphasis on local manufacturing by Counterpoint's senior analyst Anshika Jain. According to her, Bluetooth-calling and bigger displays were two determining factors that swayed customer choice. Both accounted for over 50% of shipments in the quarter.
Noise saw a 218% YoY growth in shipments
India's growth was reflected in individual numbers as well. Noise, the country's top brand, saw a 218% YoY growth. It was only behind Apple and Samsung in the global shipment chart. Fire-Boltt was only 1% behind Noise in India. It was also fourth in the world. Boat, another local brand, crossed the two million mark for the first time in the quarter.
Apple retained the top spot globally
Apple retained the top spot in global shipments with a 48% YoY growth, thanks to the stellar sales of the Apple Watch Series 8. It accounted for 56% of the company's total shipments. Samsung came in second with a 62% quarter-over-quarter growth, but only 3% YoY growth. Huawei ranked fifth in the global market. However, it recorded zero shipments in India.
Basic smartwatch shipments more than doubled
Smartwatches are divided into two categories in the Counterpoint report: High-level operating system smartwatches (HLOS), which include devices from companies such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Garmin, and Amazfit, and 'basic' smartwatches, that have a light operating system and are affordable. Noise, Fire-Boltt, and Boat belong to the second category. HLOS saw a 23% YoY growth, while basic smartwatch shipments more than doubled.
Apple leads in HLOS, while Noise tops the 'basic' chart
In the HLOS category, Apple led the line, capturing over half of the market in Q3. Samsung took the second spot. What's surprising, however, is the growth in the shipment of basic smartwatches. They currently account for 35% of the total market. Noise led the ranks in the latter category with Fire-Boltt a close second.