Key new entrants have entered the Indian wearable market primarily through retail stores, while online vendors like Xiaomi and GoQii are exploring offline channels to expand their customer base.
Total shipments of wearables in India have reached 612,000 units in the first quarter of 2017, about 90% of which were basic wearables, which cannot run third-party apps, according to market research firm IDC India.
Celso Gomes, associate market analyst for client devices at IDC India said heart rate and sleep monitor are becoming the must-have features in basic wearables, even in less-than ₹3,221.65 ($50), entry-level segments.
“In addition to the low entry price of basic wearables, consumers are now getting better value from these devices as the category now offers advanced features,” Gomes said.
Less than ₹3,221.65 ($50) segment continues to dominate the category accounting for 78.6% of total wearable shipments in the first three months of 2017. This entry level segment is led by GoQii, a California-based fitness technology venture, followed by Xiaomi. “New entrants like Titan, with aggressive marketing, have entered Indian wearable market in March further increasing the competition in this highly cluttered entry-level segment,” added Gomes.
The offline share of wearables shipments stood at 36.2% in Q1 2017 up from 24.3% over the same period last year. The offline share has improved over the last couple of quarters and is expected to grow even further. Key new entrants like Fossil and Titan have entered the Indian wearable market primarily through retail stores. In addition, certain online vendors like Xiaomi and GoQii are also exploring offline channels to expand their customer base and enhance their presence.
Figure 1: Top 3 wearable device companies in India (Source: IDC India)
GOQii maintains its leadership in the Indian wearable market with 20.8% share. GOQii shipments increased 21% sequentially in CY Q1 2017 driven by fresh demand for its newly launched GoQii HR and promotional upgrade offer. It is gradually migrating from online only to hybrid channel to increase its offline presence.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi slipped to the second position with 10.1% vendor share as shipments declined 30.6% in Q1 2017 over the previous quarter. Increasing competition and limited supply of Mi Band 2 in Q1 2017 led to the decline of Xiaomi’s share in Indian wearables market, according to IDC India.
Fitbit maintained its third place in CY Q1 2017 even though shipments declined 42.7% sequentially. Newly launched Alta HR helped offsetting volume of earlier Alta shipments. New line-up of product launches in the coming quarter to prepare for the festive season are expected to revive the vendor’s shipments.
IDC India analysts expect the Indian wearable market to grow at a double-digit in the second quarter of the year. To further intensify competition, few new vendors primarily China-based are expected to make inroads into Indian wearable market especially in sub ₹3,221.65 ($50) segments, according to the market research firm.
“Currently, primary use-case of wearables are focused on the specific niche market like fitness and health. Hence, to sustain volume and existence in long run, wearables should evolve to appeal to a wider consumer segment resulting in either to be a mainstream device or an essential product of a broader ecosystem,” said Navkendar Singh, senior research manager, IDC India. “Like IoT vendors, the wearables market should differentiate themselves either in terms of service offered with the product or its product features to enhance the scope of the market.”