Budget smartwatch revolution causes shipment surge in India

Crazy smartwatch growth – but not from brands you'd expect
BoAt Boat smartwatches India
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It’s easy to get blinded by the battle for smartwatch dominance in Western markets – but an interesting report by IDC has shown the real effect of the proliferation of affordable smartwatches.

Demand in India has surged, with a staggering 151.3% year-on-year growth in smartwatch shipments.

We’ve seen the affordable end of the market get crowded in the past couple of years – with the likes of Amazfit, Redmi, Realme, Honor, and Huawei all launching devices at price points from just $50 - $200.

> Best budget smartwatches

But the real winners in India are brands you might not have heard of.

The big winner has been BoAt, which dominates the Indian market. It has a huge range of smartwatches, that all retain for RS3,000 or less – which is around just $30.

It leads Noise (another unfamiliar name to the Western wearables market), which also provides a huge range of smartwatches between RS7,000 and RS2,000.

Then come some household names, with OnePlus gaining ground (83% up) in the last year – and Samsung also holds a small (2.6%) but significant market share.

IDC classifies these leaders as basic smartwatches, and it appears there’s a huge appetite for these in developing markets.

But there has been a side effect.

The market for fitness trackers in India has been wiped out, with a 73.2% reduction year-on-year.

With basic smartwatches offering most of the same features as fitness bands, it’s not surprising. 

But it remains to be seen whether more affordable advanced smartwatches can gain a foothold in developing markets.

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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 T3.com 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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