Home / Technology / News /  Smartwatch shipments surge fourfold in Q2 of 2022

NEW DELHI: Smartwatches remained the fastest growing category of devices among wearable gadgets, with shipments surging four times year-on-year (YoY) even as overall demand for consumer electronics tapered, according to market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC). The Monthly Wearable Devices Tracker for the June quarter of calendar year 2022 said shipments of smartwatches rose to 6.4 million units this year from 1.6 million units in the year-ago quarter.

According to IDC India, wearable devices include smart wristbands, smartwatches and ‘earwear’, which stand for true wireless earphones. The latter account for the largest share of shipments in wearable devices, with over 17.3 million units of true wireless earphones shipped in the three months through June, up from 9.2 million a year ago.

Put together, the wearables market in India saw shipments more than double, growing at a rate of 112.8% YoY, to ship over 23.8 million units in the June quarter across the three segments of devices in the category.

Interestingly, the June quarter saw a steep growth--a record of sorts--for wearables in India. In the March quarter, shipments had risen 20.1% YoY to 13.9 million units. This growth came despite analysts warning of a fall in demand across most consumer electronics categories fuelled by inflation concerns pushing back discretionary expenditures.

Explaining the pace of growth, Navkendar Singh, associate vice-president of devices research at IDC India, South Asia and Australia-New Zealand, said price reductions of devices by brands across each of these three categories, along with “aggressive" e-commerce sales and deals on smartwatches and true wireless earphones, have helped the segment buckle the trend of dwindling demand across other categories.

Singh added that the source of demand for these devices was no longer tier I (or metropolitan) markets in India, but “aspirational consumers in smaller cities and towns".

IDC India’s report said the first half of the year thus saw brands ship 37.8 million wearable devices in India - a figure that could rise by close to 37% sequentially in the second half of the year. Singh said wearable shipments for 2022 could reach 90 million units in India, thus suggesting strong festival season sales of smartwatches and true wireless earbuds.

In the second half, wearable device shipments could cross 50 million units. An increasing number of launches could also contribute to this growth. Indian wearables maker Nexxbase (which goes under the brand name Noise), for instance, unveiled a new smartwatch on Wednesday, priced at 3,499.

The strong sales of wearable devices come as brands look to improve the overall feature set of devices in this segment. In May this year, Sameer Mehta, co-founder and chief product officer of Indian wearables brand boAt, told Mint that features such as blood oxygen monitor, Bluetooth-based handsfree calling, and better performance are increasingly trickling down to more affordable devices.

Aayushi Kishore, co-founder of fellow homegrown wearables brand Fire-Boltt, said alongside focusing on improvements to the hardware, work is also being done to improve the software and user experience on affordable wearable gadgets, thus improving overall usage experience.

In the long run, industry stakeholders hope that such efforts would improve sales, which IDC’s numbers appear to validate.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shouvik Das

Shouvik Das is a science, space and technology reporter for Mint and TechCircle. In his previous stints, he worked at publications such as CNN-News18 and Outlook Business. He has also reported on consumer technology and the automobile sector.
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