India sees triple-digit growth in wearables in 2020

2020 wearables
(Image credit: Fitbit, Samsung, Apple)

India is the only country in the top-20 that saw triple-digit growth in wearables in 2020. And India continues to be the third-largest wearables market globally. 

The India wearables market posted a strong 144.3% year-over-year growth in 2020, and had 36.4 million unit shipments in the whole of 2020. These numbers were thrown up in International Data Corporation’s (IDC's) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

The numbers prove that there is an increasing acceptance of earwear devices and upgrades to watches from wrist bands.

Wristbands decline, but smartwatches pick up

IDC said earwear device shipments grew more than threefold in 2020 compared to the previous year. Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices were the top gainer seeing a tenfold increase with shipments totaling 11.3 million units in 2020.

The fourth quarter of 2020 (Oct-Dec) recorded the biggest quarter for wearables in India, maintaining triple-digit growth. Overall, vendors shipped 15.2 million units in 4Q20, growing 198.2% YoY. The shipments of watches alone crossed the one million mark as 1.3 million units were shipped during the quarter.

IDC report for 2020 on Wearables in India

(Image credit: IDC)

Noise’s Colorfit pro-2, Realme watch, Apple’s watch series 6, and new launches from Amazfit provided strong growth for watches in 4Q20.

Wristbands declined by 34.3% YoY in 2020 since peaking in 2019 as the year ended with 3.3 million-unit shipments. The increasing popularity of watches is the main factor of the decline of wristbands.

With 46.7% of the share, Xiaomi continued to lead the wristbands category in 2020. Realme, which entered the segment in 2020 finished second with a 12.3% category share.

Apple leads the smartwatches segment

Watches grew significantly as demand for wrist bands declined during the year. Watches saw a 139.3% YoY growth with 2.6 million-unit shipments in 2020. 

Noise led the watch category with a 24.5% share in 2020 followed by Realme with a 15.7% share in the year. Smartwatches, which can run third-party applications on the device itself, accounted for a 24.5% share in the watch category, and Apple continues to lead the smartwatch category with a 51.0% share in 2020, the IDC said.

The Earwear category accounted for 83.6% of the overall wearable market share to hit 30.4 million unit shipments in 2020. BoAt emerged as the biggest player in the category, accounting for one-third of the category shipments. 

Samsung with its portfolio including JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity finished second with a 14.5% share in 2020. BoAt also led the TWS segment with a 24.6% share, followed by Realme with a 13.5% share in 2020.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.