Home / Technology / Gadgets /  Indian brands beat Chinese ones in wearables market

NEW DELHI : Indian brands including boAt and Firebolt cornered more than 75% of the smartwatch and bluetooth earbud market in 2021, while Chinese brands ruled the smartphone market, according to data from market trackers.

Sales of smartwatches and bluetooth earbuds or true wireless headsets (TWS) have grown as much as 280% on year, the fastest among smart devices including smartphones, making the categories among the few that have seen fast growth amid the covid. “Domestic brands have grown rapidly in the smartwatch segment; the strategy of celebrity endorsements, introductory pricing schemes, discount offers, affordable and feature-rich devices and increasing the frequency of new launches has worked well for the Indian brands," said Anshika Jain, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.

The market tracker pegs boAt, Noise and Firebolt as the top three players in the smartwatch segment taking 66% of the market by volume. In this segment Indian brands hold a massive 76% of the market with Chinese players holding 17% in 2021, a rapid shift from 2020 when Indian and Chinese players held 38% each.

Other local brands like Ptron, Mivi, Boult Audio have expanded their portfolio in the low-priced segment and garnered positive response from customers for their value for money products.

TechArc pegs the wearables market as one of the fastest growing, with smartwatch and smartbands categories growing at 289% on-year as of 2021 at 7.2 million units, and TWS continuing its growth at 58% on-year at 10.5 million units.

“Due to lockdown the audio function became extremely important to take calls and classes at home," said Faisal Kawoosa, founder of TechArc, attributing the need for a distraction free environment during work from home as a key reason for the growth. Counterpoint saw the TWS segment growing the most at 626% on-year in 2020. New and innovative entrants, affordable technology, and rebound in demand post lockdowns also contributed to the growth in not just metros but across tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

The market was cornered by Indian brands addressing this segment more readily than the Chinese smartphone brands that have wearables as an extension of their product portfolio, Kawoosa noted.


Gulveen Aulakh

Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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