The year 1972 has a marked significance in that it was the first time ever that computers became small enough to fit in a wristwatch. Hamilton Pulsar was the first-ever digital watch released that year. Another was the Calcron calculator watch that featured a nine-digit display. In the year 1983, the Seiko Data 2000 was released which was one more smartwatch predecessor. This watch could store two memos of 1000 characters each. It could also be attached to a keyboard that came with the watch, used to type memos.
Since then, smartwatches have evolved to now being able to track, store and transit complex data about the wearer. They can now monitor fitness information, monitor and spot potential medical conditions as well as transmit location information through GPS in the event of an emergency.
The Global and Indian Smartwatch Industry
By the year 2021, the global smartwatch industry size was a whopping USD 30434.1 million which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% between 2022 and 2030. This increase is attributed to the growing inclination for fitness tracking and the health monitoring features available on smartwatches.
As per the report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the wearables market of India saw a robust YoY (Year-on-Year) growth of 46.9% in the year 2022 with shipments reaching 100.1 million units. Of this total number of shipments, 30.7% were smartwatches. Growing exponentially from a shipment size of 4.95 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 8.59 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, smartwatch shipments represent a 73.6% YoY growth. Of the many models of smartwatches, basic smartwatches have continued to dominate the market showing an annual growth of 158% in the year 2022.
This growth has shown no signs of abating as the first quarter of 2023 shows that the Indian smartwatch market has recorded a 121% YoY growth. Putting it simply, India has emerged as the biggest market for smartwatches with a 27% market share.
Reasons for Growth of the Smartwatch Market in India
The numbers showcase a consistent and exponential growth of smartwatches in India. The growth has been significant, especially since the global covid-19 pandemic as people have become more health conscious. The first quarter of 2023’s recorded growth of 121% is also important as global sales actually declined during this time period due to macroeconomic situations. However, it was India’s growth contribution that restricted the decline in global shipments to 1.5%.
One of the primary reasons for the growth is also the availability of affordable smartwatches.
Anshika Jain, an analyst at Counterpoint Research says – “India’s smartwatch market grew 121% YoY in Q1 2023 driven by affordability, rising customer demand, and availability of a wide variety of options in the budget segment.”
This growth comprised more than 40% of smartwatches sold priced under INR 2000. There are other reasons that have played a key role in the growth of the Indian smartwatch market.
Rise of Local Smartwatch Makers
Indian smartwatch makers dominated the smartwatch market claiming more than 90% of sales.
Anshika Jain added – “The share of India-based players crossed 90% for the first time as they were quick in terms of upgrading their portfolios and adapting their products to customer needs at a reasonable price point.”
In terms of global smartwatch shipments, Indian smartwatch maker Fire Boltt outpaced Samsung and reached the second position in the first quarter of 2023. Fire Boltt increased its shipments of affordable smartwatches three times YoY.
Globally, India also became the largest market for smartwatches, accounting for 27% of all worldwide smartwatch sales. North America accounted for 26% of global sales while China was a distant third with a 18% market share.
Best Budget Smartwatches in India
India’s lion market share of the smartwatch market is occupied by budget users looking for smartwatches that are affordable, medium, and premium. Customers want and expect certain features in a smartwatch – battery life, screen size, price, calling features, health tracking features, and last but certainly not least, style. Some of the best budgets buys within the Indian brand offerings are Titan, Noise, boAt, Fire Boltt, etc. These brands offer smartwatches that meet all customer demands and they are also quick to respond to new market demand with designs that are sleek while keeping the cost low.
The Indian smartwatch market is growing and is showing no signs of slowing down even amidst the global smartwatch shipment decline and other economic problems. Indian brands are gaining prominence amongst strong global players and making a strong place for themselves.
What are the reasons for the growth of the smartwatch market in India?
The reasons for the growth of the smartwatch market in India are:
- Product affordability
- Rise of Local Smartwatch Makers
Which Indian brands offer reasonable smartwatches?
Some of the best budgets buys within the Indian brand offerings are Titan, Noise, boAt, Fire Boltt, etc.