Indian wearable market clocks 2.5 million units in 2016, Low cost fitness trackers being key driver

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The FINANCIAL — According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the wearable market in India observed the total shipments of 2.5 million units in 2016 as per IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

Total wearable shipment in Q4 2016 was 675K units which includes both smart wearables that can run third party apps and basic wearables which can’t. Wearables shipments declined 19.6 percent sequentially as basic wearables which accounts to 86.4 percent of total wearable declined 23.9 percent in Q4 2016. “Shipments declined in the last quarter of the year after a sharp spike in Q3 owing to channel preparation for festive season in October”, says Navkendar Singh , Senior Research Manager, IDC India

“However, smart wearable shipments grew 23.6 percent in CY Q4 2016 as new vendors like Fossil’s made their entry into Indian wearable market and fresh shipments of new models from vendors like Apple and Samsung fuelled the growth”, adds Singh .

In terms of price, <$50 segment continues to dominate the category accounting for 73 percent of total wearable shipments in CY Q4 2016. This entry level segment is dominated by fitness trackers from vendors like Goqii and Xiaomi while Intex shipments shrunk in CY Q4 2016. “Owing to its low-cost affordability, this price segment continues to see mostly first time buyers experimenting this relatively new form factor in the market. In the effort to enhance value proposition, devices in this price segment has seen drastic evolution over last year from being basic activity trackers to one with display, basic phone notifications and heart rate sensors”, says Karthik J , Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India

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Online shipments of wearables at 63.1 percent in CY Q42016, down from previous quarter as retail and commercial shipments grow. “Although majority of shipments continue to sell through online platform, few vendors especially premium basic wearable (Fitbit, Garmin, Tomtom, etc…) and smartwatch vendors are exploring avenues in offline channel. Offline channel enables such niche vendors to showcase their products and value it offers to their respective target segment”, adds Karthik J .

GOQii: GOQii bounce back to lead Indian wearable market with 15.5 percent share. Although consumer sales saw some slowdown, commercial shipments managed to offset helping vendor’s total shipments to remain flat over previous quarter. Fitness tracker device backed by integrated service ecosystem like personal trainer, doctor, diagnostic has been unique selling point for vendor. Over 60 percent of Goqii’s shipments comes from commercial segment which is relatively higher compared to other vendors in India.

Xiaomi: Xiaomi slipped to second position with 13.2 percent vendor share as shipments declined 29.9 percent in Q4 2016 over previous quarter. Replacing the first gen Mi band, Mi band 2 with display unit and heart rate sensor launched in September solely drives Xiaomi’s shipments in this quarter which continues to be online exclusive. In fact, Mi band 2 is the highest selling heart rate sensing fitness tracker in India in Q4 2016.

Fitbit: Fitbit moves up to third place in CY Q4 2016 as shipments grew 21.2 percent sequentially. Growth in commercial segment, price discounts on certain devices are few key factors that drove Fitbit’s growth. Fitbit has balanced channel presence with offline contributing to almost half of its sales while online is exclusively catered by Amazon. Vendor is likely to build on this traction with more product launches in coming quarters and expected to make inroads into smartwatch category.

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IDC India Forecast

The wearable devices market saw a sharp growth in 2016 and this traction is expected to continue even in 2017. Karthik J says, “while wearable market is seeing some consolidation, several new vendors are expected to enter Indian wearable market. Basic wearable would continue to be key driver and especially sub $50 segment would see more action with new product launches from both existing and new vendors. Heart rate sensor would be a standard feature in most of the new launches. Commercial segment is also expected to grow further in coming quarters”.

“Smartwatch continues to be a niche offering as they struggle to be a mass market device due to premium pricing and limited and unclear value proposition to a broad base of potential users. But given the nascent stage of Indian wearable market, smartwatch to witness some growth in short term but how this form factor would evolve in terms of real world use case would decide the future for this product category”, adds Karthik J .


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