India Now World No. 1 Smartwatch Market, Has 3 Brands in the Top 5

Counterpoint Research’s report on the third quarter shows burgeoning growth in both the global and Indian smartwatch markets. The report highlights several developments and trends.

In the Third quarter of 2022, India became the leading market for smartwatches globally, surpassing regions such as North America and China.

In the third quarter, the Indian smartwatch market sky-rocketed to first place in global markets, Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Smartwatch Model Tracker reported. This is a phenomenal achievement that not only cements India’s position as a force to be reckoned with but also proves that local brands can compete with international giants.

A recent report from Counterpoint Research on the third quarter brought to light various trends and developments in both the global smartwatch market as well as India.

The smartphone market in India may have stalled, but the smartwatch industry is booming. In Q3 of 2022, the Indian smartwatch market saw a 171% year-over-year growth. For the first time ever, this smartwatch market became the biggest worldwide due to this sudden influx.

In Q3 of 2022, India held 30% of the worldwide smartwatch market. This is more than double the percentage from Q3 of 2021, where India only had 14%. With this substantial growth, India has now surpassed North America (25%) and China (16%).

North America, which was the market leader in this quarter, saw a growth of only 21 percent. However, India’s growth rate soared in comparison and was much larger.

A senior analyst from Counterpoint states that Bluetooth calling and larger displays were the main reasons for the impressive growth of the smartwatch market in India. The analyst reports that 58 percent of smartwatches shipped to India during Q3 2022 included Bluetooth call capabilities, while over half had display screens sized 1.5 – 1.69 inches.

Indian smartwatch brand Noise saw a jaw-dropping growth of 218 percent year-on-year and is now the leading brand in India. This ranks it in third place globally, only behind Apple and Samsung.

India’s place in the global smartphone market is evident when considering that the fourth most shipped phone brand (after Apple, Samsung, and Noise) was also Indian.

This quarter, Fire-Boltt did not experience any year-on-year growth, but it still performed well enough to be at number four. Boat, another Indian brand, ran up shipments of 2 million in the quarter and was ranked sixth globally.

In Q3 2022, both high-level operating systems (HLOS) and basic smartwatches saw significant global growth. While HLOS shipments saw a 23 percent increase, basic smartwatch growth nearly doubled in this quarter. This data suggests that pricing is playing an important role in driving the market for smartwatches.

At the global level, smartwatches that use Google’s Android OS still dominate with a 65 percent market share. Basic smartwatches are in second place, accounting for only 35 percent of the total market share. Not only does this domination exist in terms of quantity, but also quality. The HLOS watches typically have higher price tags and therefore their overall value is ten times that of basic watches.

In a heated competition for first place, Noise emerged victorious with 25.2 percent of the vote just barely ahead of Fire-Boltt’s 24.6 percent. The Boat followed up in a third place with 16.8 percent.

Brand presence in the Indian market largely determines global smartphone share. For context, Xiaomi and Huawei occupy fourth and fifth place respectively with 4.2 percent and 3.2 percent of the global smartwatch market. It’s interesting to note that combined, these two brands’ shares are still less than half of Boat brand’s.

Apple is often accredited with igniting the smartwatch movement, and it continues to be a top competitor in the global HLOS market, owning slightly more than half of all shipped watches (50.6 percent) in this segment.

The North American and European markets recorded a slump, which caused the Apple Watch Series 8’s shares to drop from 54 percent in Q2 of 2022 to 48 year-on-year. Despite this, the watch still accounted for a majority of 56 percent of Apple’s shipments.

Although Samsung had a mixed quarter, it experienced a 62 percent year-on-year growth globally. This was largely due to the sales of its Galaxy Watch 5 series. Furthermore, Samsung took second place in the global HLOS watch segment with a 22.3 percent share; this is a 5 percent increase from its position last quarter.

According to the report, Samsung’s share in India fell below 3 percent, and even globally, it wasn’t too far ahead of Noise.

While it might not be a top-tier smartphone brand, Huawei is still a force to be reckoned with in the smartwatch market. Last year saw the Chinese brand’s growth increase by 65 percent, and it took fifth place globally. Even though Garmin didn’t see any shipment growth, its revenue increased by 11 percent due to its high average selling price.

This quarter, India proved to be a major player in the global smartwatch market. This is mainly because of the presence of three Indian brands in the top five globally. It also marks a significant shift in the global market. With innovative tech, competitive pricing, and strong marketing strategies, Indian brands are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the global market. The future of the smartwatch market in India looks bright, and it will be interesting to see how this trend develops.

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