Fitness bands drive Indian wearables market

Eden Estopace
Healthcare Innovation

Fitness bands are driving the wearable market in India with 87.7% market share, IDC data shows.

This compares to smart wearables (or any wearable that can run third-party applications) which have around 12.3% share of the market.

In the first quarter of 2016, the wearable market in India clocked just over 400,000 units, IDC said.

"The wearable market is rapidly gaining traction as it provides an easy health tracking mechanism to the users. In terms of units, Xiaomi and GOQii together contributed over 45% share, however Fitbit had maximum market value share. The smart wearables have not yet gained enough ground because of the higher price attached to them,” IDC senior market analyst for client services Raj Nimesh said.

He added that the popularity of wearable devices is restricted to urban sectors with relatively higher disposable income.

“Since online platforms are immensely popular in this segment, nearly three-quarter of the sales happened through leading online retailers. However, to expand the reach, an increasing number of brands are taking up the offline channel, especially though major large format retail (LFR) outlets.

Though the online channel was the most preferred means for majority of the vendors, a shift towards retail is also being observed as customers are looking to physically feel and test out the product.

Fitbit and Apple are the only two brands that are widely present in physical stores; the other brands have either limited or no offline presence.

Swapnil Bhatnagar , Research Director, IDC India, is expecting more players to make an entry into the market in both the basic and smart wearable categories. “The expected launch of affordable smartwatches in the second half of 2016 could see a rapid growth in the share of smart devices,” he said.

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