“An Uncertain Shift: Lesser-Known Brands Shake Up India’s Smartwatch Market”

India’s smartwatch market in flux as unknown brands challenge heavyweights The world's biggest smartwatch market has seen a deluge of new devices in the past few monthsIndia’s smartwatch market has transformed, seemingly overnight. Hong Kong-based market analyst firm Counterpoint Research has observed the number of unknown brands in the Indian smartwatch market has grown from 78 in 2021 to 128 in 2023. Declining pricesThe growth of unknown brands in the Indian smartwatch market has not yet significantly impacted all the local firms dominating the market. Last year, smartwatch brands boAt and Noise entered the smart ring market in India to diversify their product catalog. That said, market analysts like IDC’s Sharma predicts the Indian smartwatch market will see only single-digit growth this year due to stiff competition from unknown brands and dropping ASPs.

India’s smartwatch market is undergoing a major transformation, shaking up the dominance of established players and paving the way for a new wave of competition. The market has been flooded with unknown brands, which have no prior significant presence in India, but are quickly gaining consumer attention and market share, potentially leading to industry consolidation.

In the past, domestic brands like Fire-Boltt, Noise, and boAt have held a stronghold on the Indian smartwatch market, making up over 60% of total market share. In contrast, global giants such as Apple and Samsung have struggled to establish a presence, with only a combined 2% market share and annual shipments of 1.1 million units in 2023, reported by market intelligence firm IDC.

However, the tide has shifted as new entrants have seen a surge in market share, now making up 15-20% of the market. These unknown brands often feature unrecognized names and are sometimes knockoffs of established products, with prices as low as $12 (1,000 Indian rupees) compared to the starting prices of $360 (29,900 Indian rupees) for the Apple Watch SE and $290 (23,999 Indian rupees) for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Despite lacking warranties and sometimes having inaccuracies in fitness tracking metrics, these affordable options have gained attention due to their resemblance to higher-end models and affordability.

According to Hong Kong-based market analyst firm Counterpoint Research, the number of unknown brands in the Indian smartwatch market has grown from 78 in 2021 to 128 in 2023, indicating a significant increase in competition. However, these unknown brands tend to appear during the festive season, and disappear after one or two quarters, likely due to the import of cheap products from China or partnerships with Indian electronics manufacturers.

While this influx of unknown brands has not yet greatly impacted established players, some are feeling the heat and have seen a decline in average selling prices (ASP). boAt, India’s third-leading smartwatch brand, saw a 17% decline in year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter, with co-founder and CEO Sameer Mehta noting a 90% decline in ASP.

Market experts believe that for established players to retain their presence in the growing smartwatch market, they must differentiate themselves and focus on existing customers. Currently, most brands target first-time buyers, but they should shift their focus to retaining existing customers by offering distinct features and unique designs rather than relying on Chinese original design manufacturers. Additionally, the market may see consolidation in the coming years, with single-digit growth expected due to intense competition and declining ASPs.

Overall, the Indian smartwatch market has seen a significant shift in recent years, with unknown brands challenging the dominance of established players. As the market continues to evolve, it remains to be seen which brands will come out on top and what innovations will drive future growth.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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