Basic smartwatches rescue market as Apple, Samsung stutter

India to the rescue as smartwatch market slows
boAt boat smartwatches india
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Demand for smartwatches has been hit hard by the global economic slowdown, and shipments of ‘advanced’ smartwatches are not set to grow in 2023.

That’s the findings of a new CCS Insight report, which also predicts a 16% uplift in smartwatches in 2023, thanks single-handedly to a new category from India.

> Best budget smartwatches 

Smartwatches from Apple, Google, Garmin, and Samsung declined by 7% in 2022, according to its latest report.

But it found huge growth of ‘basic smartwatches’ from India is set to supercharge growth globally, with demand in India up 75% year on year.

Back in February, we reported on the huge growth of a select group of smartwatch brands: BoAt, Fire-Boltt, and Noise.

With scores of smartwatches that cost less than $30, they have whipped up a frenzy of demand in India. 

And Kane McKenna, wearables analyst at CCS Insight believes this demand could spill over to the global market.

“We expect basic smartwatches to have the most success in emerging markets, where the high price of advanced smartwatches puts them out of reach of all but the most affluent consumers, and these low-cost basic smartwatches provide an in-road to the previously inaccessible smartwatch market,” he told Wareable.

But he doesn’t believe that they can grab the US or UK markets.

“They might be able to scoop some of the demand out of fitness tracker and kids’ smartwatch categories, but ultimately the broader buying public are more likely to wait until they can afford a more capable device.”

What about the fortunes of the big smartwatch makers?

Three Major Indian   Brands (boAt + Noise + Fire-Boltt)   
Fitbit / Google   

As you can see below, market share has fallen across the board, as the new Indian brands start to make their presence felt.

It looks like it will be a long year for smartwatch makers, but better news is on the horizon.

Advanced smartwatches will start growing again in 2024, and CCS Insight believes that shipments will be double 2022 levels by 2027. Its report predicts that 353 million smartwatches will ship in 2027, and 200 million of those will be advanced devices.

TAGGED Smartwatches

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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