The pandemic isn't over yet! Remember the time when lockdown just started and how all of us hoarded on stocks of ration, technically making the market deficient? Well, thankfully that time is gone and the e-commerce websites are back in trade. However, not the essentials, not the medicines and not the clothes, the earwear and other wearables' sales skyrocketed in the pandemic and we are like - is it for real?
Covid-19 - Some Market Statistics
The world has been struggling to get over the covid-19 crisis that has affected our lifestyle greatly. People have lost jobs, have gone into depression, committed suicide as well as become violent. Even though we got time with our families and time for ourselves, it went on for too long. It is still going on! Other than loss of life, all the nations have faced economic crisis.
The impact that Covid-19 has left in the economy worldwide has been massive. India’s growth in the fourth quarter of the financial year of 2020 went down to 3.1 % as reported by the Ministry of Statistics. The condition was so bad that the World Bank and a few rating agencies had revised that India’s growth will be the lowest it has seen since the economic liberalization on the 1990’s. India’s economic activity fell from 82.9 on 22nd March to 44.7 on April 26.
Indian Wearable Market Recorded A Growth of 144.3%
As sad as all this is, there is one silver lining. The Indian wearable market grew 144.3 percent year-over-year in 2020. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), this made India the one and only country in the top 20 countries to have experienced triple digit growth. This company keeps a track of wearables like smartwatches, wristbands as well as earphones. 36.4 million wearables were shipped by the end of 2020.
The data also shows that, in 2020, Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) earphones saw a never seen before growth in its shipment that was totalling to 11.3 million units in 2020! We do love our earwears, don’t we? Customers also upgraded from basic wristbands to watches. Not just earwears, but, more than 1.3 million units of watches were also shipped in the last quarter of the horrible year 2020.
Why Wearables Though?
Much of this sudden three-digit growth in the sale of these items were cause due to the lockdown. Schools, colleges, and office were completely shut down to make sure that the Covid-19 virus is contained. But the virus continued to spread and the plans of shutting down school and offices temporarily became impossible. The government need to start these back up and in order to do so, e-learning and Work from Home became the only ray of hope.
Video calling applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc. became the new destination for learning and holding meetings. As a matter of fact, Zoom became so popular in the pandemic that it became the No.1 app in India on the Google Playstore at one point. The daily downloads for Zoom were 1,70,000 in February 2020 and it surged to nearly 2.5 million in late March,2020. With the necessity of having video calling apps in your phones and laptops and PCs, came the necessity of having good quality earphones. The earwear category experienced a 139.3% year-over-year growth in its shipment in 2020 due to the e-learning and WFH. Of the total 36.4 million units of wearables shipped, the earwear category accounted for 83.6% of the total units.
Earwear Market Leaders During Pandamic
In this earwear category, the Ace of the cards was BoAt. BoAt headphones and TWS segment were in the lead with 33% and 24.6% market share respectively. The runner up was the Samsun owned JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity contributed 14.5% shares and Realme followed with a 13.5% share in this massive share of wearables that saw a boost in their sales.
As watches became more popular, the overall wristband sales declined. Watches had become more affordable than wristbands. Xiaomi’s market share for wristbands was 46.7% whereas Realme had 12.3% market share in 2020. Watches sales went up to 139.3% year-over-year as 2.6 million units of shipment were sent in 2020. Noise ranked No.1 with 24.5% market share and Realme came 2nd with 15.7% share. Apple continues to lead the smartwatch industry with 51% shares in 2020.
Hearable, Wearables, Afforable.
Anisha Dumbre, IDC India Market Analyst said “Hearables became one of the most sought-after electronic categories in 2020. TWS category saw the much-needed price corrections with several vendors launching devices at more affordable price points leading to the drop in the average selling price of TWS to Rs. 3,200 in 2020 from Rs. 8,000 in 2019.” The last quarter of the year 2020, became the most successful quarter for all these wearables in India as it maintained a triple-digit growth. 15.2 million units of wearables were shipped in this last quarter alone marking a growth of 198.2% year-over-year.
All of this was possible due to the fear of vendors that no sale would be made as factories were shut down as well and there were no means of shipping. Thanks to the Learn From Home and Work From Home move by the government, these wearables became necessary and as a result they were sold at an affordable price on a larger margin.
Looks like we all could use a good pair of earphones after all.