Driven by record shipments of hearables and watches, the India wearables market posted 144.3 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth in 2020, exiting the year with 36.4 million unit shipments.
India was the only country in the top 20 to see triple-digit growth in wearables in 2020 and continues to be the third-largest wearables market globally, showed International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
"2020 was a year of transition in the audio segment from wired to wireless devices," said Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.
"In 2021, this category will further migrate to more sophisticated devices with enhanced audio experience being the central theme for all vendors," he added.
Earwear device shipments grew more than threefold in 2020 compared to the previous year, mainly driven by the affordable launches, and expanding use cases beyond entertainment like virtual meetings and e-learning requirements.
Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices were the top gainer seeing a tenfold increase with shipments totaling 11.3 million units in 2020.
"Hearables became one of the most sought-after electronic categories in 2020. The newer version of hearables are much better in managing the increased audio usages and improved aesthetic and design also made them the trendsetter," Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India, said in a statement.
The October-December 2020 recorded the biggest quarter for wearables in India, maintaining triple-digit growth.
Overall, vendors shipped 15.2 million units in Q4 2020, growing 198.2 percent YoY.
This was the first quarter when shipments of watches crossed the one million mark as vendors shipped 1.3 million units during the quarter.
D2C Brand Noise's Colorfit pro-2, Realme watch, Apple's watch series 6, and new launches from Amazfit provided this strong growth for watches in 4Q20.
Wristbands declined by 34.3 percent YoY in 2020 since peaking in 2019 as the year ended with 3.3 million unit shipments.
After the introduction of wrist bands into the Indian market, 2020 has been the first year when the category reported a decline.
The increasing popularity of watches at similar price points to that of wristbands is the main factor of the decline of wristbands.
With 46.7 percent of the share, Xiaomi continued to lead the category in 2020. Realme, which entered the segment in 2020 finished second with a 12.3 percent category share.
Watches grew significantly as demand for wrist bands declined during the year.
Watches saw a 139.3 percent YoY growth with 2.6 million unit shipments in 2020.
Smartwatches, which can run third-party applications on the device itself, accounted for a 24.5 percent share in the watch category, and Apple continues to lead the smartwatch category with a 51.0 percent share in 2020.
Samsung with its portfolio including JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity finished second with a 14.5 percent share in 2020.
D2C Brand BoAt led the TWS segment with a 24.6 percent share, followed by Realme with a 13.5 percent share in 2020.