Global smartwatch shipments witnessed a decline of 1.5 percent year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2023, as per the latest report by market research firm Counterpoint. Still, India managed to register 121 percent year-over-year growth in shipments fuelled by high demand for low-cost wearables made by local brands such as Fire-Boltt, Noise and boAt, Counterpoint noted. Apple enjoyed the major share of smartwatch shipments in the first quarter of this year, while domestic brand Fire-Boltt surpassed Samsung and took the second position. Samsung came in third.
Counterpoint Research in its Global Smartwatch Model Tracker report said that the global smartwatch shipments in the first three months of 2023 declined 1.5 percent YoY. Meanwhile, backed by high demand for entry-level wearables, smartwatch shipments in India saw a significant increase of 121 percent in the same period. This to some extent managed to restrict the global decline. Seasonal decline in demand for smartwatches by Apple and Samsung, along with consumer sentiment dampened by global financial pressures is said to be the key reason behind the decline.
Apple maintained its lead in terms of shipments but its market share has declined to 26 percent from 32 percent reported in the same quarter last year. The release of the Apple Watch Series 8 was not able to solidify its position in the smartwatch space globally, the report said. This was the first time the Cupertino-based company saw its first-quarter sales below 10 million units.
Indian brand Fire-Boltt clocked an impressive performance and overtook Samsung for the first time and reached the second position in the global market with a 9 percent market share. Counterpoint says Fire-Boltt has witnessed 57 percent growth compared to the previous quarter and its shipments increased by approximately three times compared to the previous year. This reflects the rapid growth of the Indian market, just like other local brands such as Noise and boAt, Counterpoint noted. Samsung, however, secured the third position with 9 percent market share, compared to 10 percent in Q1 last year.
On a per-region basis, India surpassed North America, to reclaim its position as the top region with a 27 percent share of global smartwatch shipments. In the same period last year, India had a 12 percent market share.
“India’s smartwatch market grew 121% YoY in Q1 2023 driven by affordability, rising customer demand and availability of a wide variety of options in the budget segment. Around 40% of the total shipments were driven by the <INR 2,000 (<$25) price band, its highest proportion ever. The share of India-based players crossed 90% for the first time as they were quick in terms of upgrading their portfolios and adapting their products to customer needs at a reasonable price point”, said Counterpoint Research senior analyst Anshika Jain about India’s growth in the space.
North America saw 26 percent market share, while China got an 18 percent market share. Samsung registered a 15 per cent increase in North America but it failed to mark impressive growth in other major markets. Huawei, on the other hand, saw increased shipments in India and other regions but posted a 14 percent YoY decline in its shipments in the Chinese market.