boAt has done phenomenally well with their portfolio and smart endorsement choices

Earwear market sees phenomenal growth, Indian wearables grow at 80.6% YoY

As per International Data Corporation (IDC) released its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker India’s wearable market grew at 80.6% YoY in 1Q20 shipping 4.2 million units. Notable players are Apple, Xiaomi, Huami’s Amazfit, boAt, and GOQii.

Beep Boop Buup go the TWS

The unique part of the report is the fact that people are buying True Wireless (TWS). TWS as a category that has seen growth thanks to the introduction & aspirational value of Apple’s AirPods. Because quite honestly, TWS by any brand but Apple & Samsung are incomplete devices and best avoided. If you think that I am wrong, please let me know of better options in comments or @ProfADK me on Twitter. Personal bias aside, the earwear market has grown by astronomical 300.7% annually in 1Q20 with TWS contributing 23.1% to it. I propose a postulate that the loss of 3.5 mm jack and wanting quality of the earwear provided by OEMs could also be contributing factors to the segment. Either way, earwear is the exciting new battleground where we hope to see a lot more options for us to review and customers to buy. TWS segment led by Samsung with 29.8% with their newly launched Galaxy Buds Plus, Apple is second with 15.7% market share.

“The earwear category is witnessing a major shift from wired to wireless devices. The lockdown which led to growing need of working from home and also, increased the entertainment consumption, has further accelerated the shift to wireless devices,” says Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India. “These devices not only help to reduce outside noise while users are taking virtual meetings but also help them to stay connected without any wires,” adds Dumbre.

Time to get the groove on

The earwear category is led by boAt which has been able to provide value for money through their offerings. One of their most popular headsets — boAt Rockerz 255 — has over 100,000 reviews, and that is a fantastic accomplishment. Another aspect where boAt has taken the lead over their competitors is celebrity endorsements. The company has roped in stars like Kiara Advani, Kartik Aaryan & Neha Kakkar which cumulatively give the brand a reach of 94.43 million (67.7 million on Instagram, 23.9 million on Facebook and 2.83 million on Twitter). In addition to these celebrities, the brand has Shikhar Dhawan, Risabh Pant, KL Rahul & Hardik Pandya, as ambassadors giving them a cumulative reach of 64.07 million (26.4 million on Instagram, 22.57 million on Facebook and 15.1 million on Twitter). In earwear, we have players like Infinity and JBL holding their ground with brand value. Though considering the constrained marketing approach displayed by incumbent brands, I am bearish on a positive growth trajectory for them.

Taking off the wristbands

Wristbands as per IDC saw a 28% YoY decline in 1Q20. The agency is crediting this to supply-side constraints, but I feel it is the form factor that has lost the appeal. Xiaomi is leading the segment with 41.9% after witnessing an annual dip of 39.3%. Unless wristbands offer something unique like GOQii does with their preventive healthcare system, this segment has seen its peak and will plateau from hereon. Good riddance, it is such a boring product category.

Watch out for the watches

Watches, on the other hand, excite me a lot. I like the Huawei Watch GT 2 for sleep tracking but, when it comes to meetings and parties, Apple Watch it is. I do feel that sleep tracking is going to be an essential feature that we would hopefully see introduced by a lot more brands. For example, I am excited about Withings newest offerings; they are classy af, something I’d wear to a date or a formal event. Fossil is also part of the list, but their product offerings are lacklustre, I would expect a correction. Saving the best for last, now, I am yet to try the offerings from Huami’s Amazfit, but my friends in the media have consistently given their products a great review. The product portfolio continues to shine in India, while the segment saw a 43% YoY of which 22.4% was Huami.

You can read the full report here.

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