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India Smartwatch Market Sees Record Shipments in 2023 With 50% YoY Growth

  • With a 30% share, Fire-Boltt took the top spot in 2023, driven by the widest portfolio among all OEMs.
  • Noise and boAt captured second and third spots with 25% and 17% shares respectively.
  • The top five brands’ share was the highest ever at 81%, indicating a growing but consolidating market.
  • Fastrack and Boult entered the top five for the first time.
  • 54% market was under the retail price band of INR 2,000, which registered over 3x growth.

New Delhi, Beijing, Boston, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, San Diego, Seoul – February 7, 2024

India’s smartwatch shipments grew 50% YoY in 2023, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s IoT Service. This growth was driven by the rising penetration of smartwatches, proliferation of low-cost devices to target first-time users, and enhanced efforts by Indian brands through extensive marketing and distribution, promotions and local manufacturing. In addition, there is growing awareness and interest among customers to track their health vitals, utilize the device as a style statement, or leverage it for gifting purposes.

A chart showing India Smartwatch Market Share 2022 vs 2023

Commenting on the market dynamics, Research Analyst Harshit Rastogi said, “The market saw over 125 active smartwatch brands in 2023 even as it started moving towards consolidation. The combined share of the top five brands reached the highest ever at 81%. In addition, growth of emerging players like Fastrack, Boult and BeatXP led to further consolidation of the market. The product portfolio of the top players expanded quite a lot compared to 2022 to cater to different customer segments. Moreover, the market is now further skewed towards the lower price bands with 54% of the shipments in 2023 coming under the INR 2,000 retail price band, up from 26% in 2022.”

Commenting on the outlook, Senior Research Analyst Anshika Jain said, “While the market continues to register high growth rates, we are seeing some stabilisation, signaling wider adoption. The quarterly growth rates have come down from triple to double digits. We expect the market to grow 23% YoY in 2024. With the introduction of new features like cellular connectivity, high-level OS (HLOS) and better displays, the market is likely to sustain growth. We are now observing that OEMs are tapping into new emerging markets like Southeast Asia and the Middle East and foraying into other wearable categories like smart rings to accentuate their presence in the market.”

Market Summary

  • Fire-Boltt led the market with a 30% share. The brand maintained its focus on offering a wide SKU portfolio and a strong offline presence.
  • Noise (along with sub-brand Alt) captured the second spot with a 26% market share. The Noise Colorfit Icon 2 and Colorfit Icon Buzz were the best-selling smartwatches in 2023. The brand expanded its retail presence in 2023 and also expanded its portfolio in the kids smartwatch category.
  • boAt (with sub-brands TAGG and Defy) maintained its third spot in the market with a 17% share and 40% YoY growth. The brand sported its widest portfolio in 2023 and also introduced its Crest+ OS. Besides, it launched limited-edition smartwatches for the Cricket World Cup in 2023.
  • Fastrack registered the highest shipment growth among major OEMs to move to the fourth spot with a 5.4% market share. With existing brand value and wide offline presence, it has expanded rapidly.
  • Boult captured the fifth spot with a 3.8% market share. It had the lowest ASP among the top five OEMs.
  • Samsung declined by 3% YoY in 2023 but registered 17% YoY growth in Q4 2023. The Galaxy Watch 4 continued to be the brand’s best-selling model owing to its promotional pricing, making it the best-selling WearOS smartwatch in India.
  • Apple’s shipments declined by 57% YoY in 2023 owing to longer replacement cycles and higher ASP coupled with iPhone-only compatibility. The brand maintained its lead in the shrinking INR 20,000 and above retail price band. With increased iPhone sales in India in 2023, we can expect gradual growth in Apple Watch shipments in 2024.

Background

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Follow Counterpoint Research

press(at)counterpointresearch.com

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Apple’s XR Investment Is An Insurance Policy

Apple Vision Pro (AVP) is an engineering masterpiece. It marks a significant advance in consumer electronics and is the most complex device ever made, far outstripping competitors in terms of technical competency. Apple starts to ship the headset today, 2nd Feb 2024. AVP swiftly sold out once pre-orders began on January 19, starting at $3,499 for the 256GB memory variant, seven times what the 128GB version of the Meta Quest 3 costs. Whether the few hundred thousand units in initial volumes are followed by a sustained demand will demonstrate the device’s appeal, or a lack thereof, beyond developers, early adopters and Apple’s die-hard fans. 

Apple positions Vision Pro not just as a headset, but as a new spatial computing platform with its own operating system, user interface paradigm and digital content delivery. This strategic shift aims to move the discourse beyond mere headset competition and towards competition between entire ecosystems, signalling Apple’s long-term commitment to this new product line. One surely needs to believe in Apple’s long-term commitment since the use cases demonstrated by Apple were generic and interesting at best. Showcasing familiar experiences like watching movies, working on large virtual screens, and teleconferencing raises questions about whether AVP is a solution seeking a problem (though this criticism could be applied to many VR devices). 

While the over 600 apps developed for Vision Pro add to the 1 million+ compatible App Store apps, the lack of “killer apps” remains a concern. Despite touting entertainment as a major attraction with partnerships including with Disney, Apple suffered setbacks with popular video and audio platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify choosing not to launch dedicated apps. Without compelling use cases or major first-party apps, Apple’s launch of AVP seems predicated on hope. Apple appears to rely on developers creating the “killer apps” that will replicate the success of the iPhone and iPad App Store. Even if Vision Pro doesn’t gain mass adoption, Apple’s entry into the segment has generated popular awareness regarding the eXtended Reality (XR) industry. 

Apple, we believe, is essentially using Vision Pro as an insurance policy. iPhone is the core of Apple’s almost $3-trillion market cap (at the time of writing). For years, speculation has pointed to augmented reality devices as the potential successor to smartphones as our primary interface with digital life. So far, the XR market has been disappointing – generating a few 10s of millions of unit sales but limited consistent usage outside niche enterprise applications. Furthermore, the technical challenge of making true augmented reality glasses has proven to be beyond the capabilities of even the most technically gifted companies. Therefore, the slow-developing XR industry doesn’t pose an immediate threat to Apple. 

For Apple, the worst-case scenario would be a booming XR market with no Apple product in the game. Even if the market fails to materialize despite Apple’s multi-billion-dollar investment in XR development, the cost, while sizeable, would not significantly impact its cash reserves. 

So, Apple made the logical choice to invest in creating the Apple Vision Pro. In the process, it has amassed an impressive patent portfolio that strengthens its position. 

Should the XR market finally take off, Apple will be ideally positioned to capitalize on the opportunity. However, even if it remains a niche market, Apple has secured its place with a product that will serve as a benchmark for future competitors. 

Sony WF-1000XM5 Review: Epitome of Premium Sound with Compact, Lighter Design and Improved Battery Life

We saw a lot of changes in our daily lives in 2023, especially in terms of getting out of the house and traveling, which had been minimized after the COVID-19 pandemic. Offices recommenced to a fuller extent, with which came the return of the office commute. We resumed traveling for product launch events and trade shows. However, one thing remained pretty much unchanged since the COVID-19 lockdowns – online video calls with teams, clients and prospects. For these calls, headphones or TWS earbuds have become even more crucial to ensure better audio quality and these devices have seen some extensive advancements in specs over time.

Sony launched its WF-1000XM5 (XM5) TWS earbuds in H2 2023, and we have been using a pair extensively for more than four months now. These earbuds feature a more compact and lightweight design, improved ANC, and a better battery life than the previous iteration, the WF-1000XM4 (XM4). Incorporating these upgrades, the new Sony XM5 is priced at $299, a $20 increase compared to its predecessor.

Commenting on Sony’s TWS sales, Senior Analyst Minsoo Kang said, “Sony, especially in the >$150 segment, has shown steady growth, driven by robust ANC, impressive audio quality, and a loyal customer base. With a focus on products priced at $100 and above, Sony has consistently increased its sales in the premium segment. The XM5 does not feature a significant design change compared to the XM4, but Sony has made notable improvements to the Bluetooth version and weight.”

We have reviewed the predecessor XM4 in the past. How does the new XM5 fare in comparison? Read our usage experience and detailed analysis below.

More Compact Design, Better Comfort

Generation over generation, Sony has worked towards making its earbuds smaller, lighter, and more comfortable. The XM4 earbuds were 10% smaller and the case was 40% more compact than the XM3. The latest Sony XM5 is 25% smaller and about 20% lighter compared to the XM4. Each earbud now weighs 5.9g. In comparison, the XM4 earbud weighs 7.3g each.

counterpoint-sony-wf1000xm5-earbud-single

The reduced footprint offers a more comfortable fit without hitting the ear fold, thus ensuring less fatigue, unlike what we experienced in the XM3 and XM4 when wearing for long hours. Sony is bundling four ear tips this time – extra small, small, medium, and large – so you can choose the optimal size to fit your ears. These are foam ear tips and not silicone ones like what you typically see in other earbuds.

The Sony XM5 earbuds are less chunky compared to the XM4, thanks to the reduced footprint.

As most of us are not used to foam ear tips, wearing them may feel a little strange initially but with time they feel more comfortable and help greatly in improving wearability and reducing pressure on the ears.

counterpoint-sony-wf1000xm5-earbuds

In terms of design, Sony has retained the gold accent on the microphone mesh cover for each earbud, which gives it a distinct look. The case and the touch-sensitive outer edge of the earbuds have a matte finish. However, most of the exterior is made of glossy plastic, which makes the earbuds a bit slippery when removing from the case, especially if you have sweaty or oily fingers. Overall, the aesthetics of the XM5 look nice and premium.

New Head Tracking Gestures, More Stable Connection

The Sony XM5 is packed with a host of features; some new, some improved over the predecessor:

  • Adaptive Sound Control to automatically switch between ANC and ambient modes.
  • Automatic firmware updates, without needing any manual intervention.
  • Head gestures to accept and decline calls by simply nodding your head.
  • Multi-point control for simultaneous connections.
  • Wireless charging and quick charge (up to one hour of music payback in a three-minute charge).
  • LDAC with Hi-Res Wireless support.
  • Six mics and dual processors for better audio quality and noise cancellation.
  • Google Fast Pair for Android, and Swift Pair for Windows.
  • Find Your Equalizer feature lets you choose the sound settings that suit your music listening preferences.

Adaptive Sound Control is an interesting feature that allows you to customize the EQ and noise canceling level depending on your activity or location. For instance, in the office, you might want to keep ambient mode on so you can listen to your colleagues sitting next to you. In a gym, you may want to turn the ANC on, and the bass turned up to pump that extra adrenaline as you work out.

counterpoint-sony-wf-1000xm5-review-adaptive-sound-control

The activity-based adaptive mode can have ANC turned on when you are sitting in one place, allowing you to enjoy an immersive listening experience. Similarly, the moment you start walking or running, it can automatically turn on the ambient mode to ensure you can hear your surroundings more clearly. Though the mode switching is not instant, it takes about five to eight seconds to detect the activity and then switch.

Adaptive Sound Control works perfectly to switch through optimal EQ, ANC, and ambient modes depending on your location and activity.   

The head gesture feature to accept and decline calls is neat and works as expected. When you get an incoming call, simply nod your head up and down to accept the call. If you want to decline a call, you can move your head sideways.

The multi-point connection feature allows you to simultaneously connect the earbuds to two devices at the same time. It can intelligently switch between devices. For instance, if you are watching a video or listening to music on the laptop/tablet, and you get a call on the phone, the playback will stop, and after the call has ended, the playback on the laptop will resume. With a new chipset, Sony is also offering this feature in LE (Low Energy) mode, though it is in beta as of now.

Support for Google Fast Pair is a good addition. This makes it easier to pair by just opening the lid of the case and placing it closer to an Android smartphone. Bluetooth needs to be turned on though. It takes away the hassle of finding the device and manually pairing it. Similarly, Swift Pair for Windows 10/Windows 11 laptops makes it easier to pair with a laptop by putting the earbuds in pairing mode. The pairing button is present at the back of the case, just beside the USB-C port.

Automatic firmware update is another good addition. Once new firmware is available, it will be automatically downloaded and installed, so you need not manually check and install the updates.

Lastly, there is also a new Find My Equalizer feature that lets you find the right sound balance to suit your listening preferences. Simply play a song, and it will present some numbered bubbles, each having a different subtle effect. You need to tap on the numbers, hear the difference, and choose the optimal setting that sounds the best to you.

counterpoint-sony-wf-1000xm5-review-custom-eq

Based on those inputs, it will create a custom equalizer (EQ) for you, which will be saved in the earbud profile, and that EQ will be consistent across all devices, music, and movies that you watch. It worked well for me, adding slightly more bass while keeping the five-band EQ flat.

Find My Equalizer is a perfect tool for finding optimal sound tailored to your taste, without manually fiddling around with the EQ.

Performance: Stable Connectivity, Great Sound, Long Battery Life

The XM5 offers a more stable connection, thanks to the new Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity standard. We tested the earbuds across multiple devices – MacBook Pro 16 (M1 Pro), iPhone 15 (AAC codec), and Xiaomi 13 Pro (LDAC). However, most of the music listening was on the Xiaomi smartphone as it supports LDAC codec for high bit-rate audio.

Sound Quality:

Sony is known for offering excellent sound quality on its headphones and TWS earbuds, and it has done the same in the new XM5. These earbuds come with 8.4mm dynamic drivers, up from 6mm on the XM4. Sony is also using two materials – one for low and the other for high-frequency sounds.

While listening to music with the equalizer flat, you can immediately hear that the emphasis is still on the lower frequencies a bit. It is perfect for workouts where most of us lean on the hip-hop genre, but when sitting in a home or office, the sound may get a little bass heavy. For most of the listening, we reduced the bass by two levels, and then it sounded well and balanced. Soundstaging in the XM5 is a bit wider compared to the XM4, and detecting different instruments in a sound is much easier.

However, the audio on XM5 is not as rich and full as in the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro. Otherwise, these are an excellent pair of earbuds to enjoy immersive music and video-watching experience.

Noise Cancellation and Call Quality:

 Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Ambient features have always been one of the highlights of the 1000XM series, and Sony has improved this further with every new generation. The new XM5 earbuds come with a total of six mics (three on each earbud), that can catch more ambient noise to filter, thus offering a slightly noticeable difference in ANC. We found it most effective on airplanes, trains, and even places like malls and airports. It also reduces wind noise considerably.

Noise Cancellation and Ambient modes have been improved over the XM4, thanks to the six-mic system.

But it is not just the mics, this time Sony has used two chips – the Integrated Processor V2 for better noise canceling, improved sound quality, low power consumption, and also for better connectivity, and the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e, which is also used to further improve noise canceling and sound quality. Sony says the two processors work together in offering around 20% more noise cancellation compared to the XM4.

counterpoint-sony-wf1000xm5-tws-case-inside   

The mics also enable crisp and clear ambient mode, to let you hear things clearly when using the Speak-to-Chat feature, without having to remove the earbuds. On calls, it uses a bone conduction sensor to capture voice vibrations and AI-driven noise reduction algorithms to isolate your voice from ambient noise. We used the earbuds for phone calls, and also for Microsoft Teams calls, and the receiver was able to hear the voice clearly, whether we were in the office or commuting in a cab or metro.

The XM5 offers crisp and clear call quality in most of the ambient noise scenarios we tested.    

Battery Life:

In terms of battery life, Sony claims up to eight hours of continuous music playback on a single charge with ANC on, and up to 12 hours with ANC off. The case offers two additional charges, meaning you can get up to 36 hours of music playback. During our testing, we found the claims to be accurate, and in fact, surpassing even the said claims. On a long-haul 10 flight from London to Mumbai, we got around nine hours and 20 minutes of total playback time with ANC on, before the battery on the earbuds completely drained and needed charging again.

Better battery life and quick charging offer long listening time.

The quick charge feature is also faster now. A quick three-minute charge can offer up to one hour of battery life. In our test, a quick five-minute charge offered roughly an hour and 35 minutes of music playback, lasting and entire Mumbai-Delhi flight from take-off to landing.

counterpoint-sony-wf1000xm5-tws-case-back

Final Words

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is an excellent pair of TWS earbuds loaded with a lot of features not found in the competition. They sound great, offer crisp ambient noise that allow you to stay aware of your surroundings, and great noise cancellation when you want to cut off and be in your zone. Features like head tracking for accepting and declining calls, multi-point connection, and adaptive sound control set them apart.

However, there are some areas where Sony can make further improvements. These earbuds support head tracking and 360 reality audio, but unlike the Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro, the compatibility is very limited. The ‘Speak-to-chat’ with bone conduction is a great feature, but similar to the previous generation, it is very sensitive and gets activated even when humming to music. Audio tuning can be slightly improved to enhance the richness and fullness of the audio.

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XREAL Air 2 Pro First Impressions: Promising Entry-level XR Glasses

2023 was the most exciting year in the Extended Reality (XR) space since Counterpoint Research began its XR service more than three years ago. While the most amount of public interest was generated by the announcement of Apple’s foray into the segment through the Vision Pro, its first Mixed Reality (MR) headset, the launch of Sony’s gaming VR headset PlayStation VR2, and the launch of Meta’s MR headset Quest 3, a significant amount of meaningful progress was also made by lightweight and competitively priced AR glasses. We at Counterpoint have been testing one such product – XREAL Air 2 Pro.

Initial thoughts

The XREAL Air 2 Pro with its lightweight and well-balanced design offers comfortable usability. The high image quality, combined with a 120Hz high refresh rate and improved audio, positions it as a good competitor in its category, especially for streaming.

It has several other intriguing features that users in certain regions – surprisingly including the US where it is officially available – are prevented from experiencing to the fullest extent. Overcoming these hiccups and adding more apps could make it one of the most interesting AR glasses in 2024 when Apple’s MR headset finally becomes available, and more consumers seek the XR experience without necessarily wanting to shell out $3,500.

Lightweight and comfortable design

The Air 2 Pro packs some upgrades into a visibly thinner and noticeably lighter frame compared with the original 2022 Air. XREAL achieved this by reducing the front face thickness by around 14% to 19 mm. The Air 2 Pro weighs 75 gm, a noticeable reduction from the Air’s weight of 79 gm. The weight distribution has also been improved, with the front/rear weight ratio going from 63:37 to 50:50. The Air 2 Pro also comes with multiple soft zero-pressure nose pads which would help users pick one that fits them better, compared to the metallic ones offered with the original Airs. However, sometimes the glasses need to be worn further out on the nose to prevent the lower part of a video, particularly subtitles, from falling outside the visual area.

counterpoint-xreal-air-2-pro-glasses-front

Display: Bright, crisp and vivid

The Air 2 Pro comes with three levels of electrochromic dimming, taking immersion from 0% to 35% to 100%. A 25% increase in brightness, to 500 nits, allows for a better viewing experience, even in brighter conditions. The latest 0.55 Micro-OLED panel from Sony with a 21% higher PPI (pixels per inch) of 4032 also contributes to the increased image quality in the Air 2 Pro. The new device comes with a refresh rate of 120Hz, which has also been added to the original Air through software updates.

Audio: Loud enough for a personal viewing experience

The overall viewing experience also benefits from XREAL’s second-generation sound system which makes audio more immersive. Directional audio reduces sound leakage, although it is still quite noticeable, unless in loud outdoor environments. There are two speakers, one on each side of the temple, making the audio sufficiently loud in most environments.

counterpoint-xreal-air-2-pro-buttons-first-impressions

XREAL Beam: Connectivity hub for reduced latency

The Air 2 Pro can be used with Beam, a handheld accessory that looks like the Apple iPod. It comes with a built-in battery that can offer a continuous runtime of up to three-and-a-half hours. With a 27W fast charger, it can be charged up to 50% in 30 minutes, while also allowing users to use the Air 2 Pro while charging.

counterpoint-xreal-air-2-pro-beam-first-impressions

Built on XREAL’s proprietary spatial computing technology, it can project an equivalent of 330 inches of portable screen in the Air 2 Pro for streaming, gaming, or productivity. Gamers may also use it to connect with PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck or even the ROG Ally to mirror the screen on the Air 2 Pro for an immersive gaming experience. The Beam also comes with 32GB of built-in memory, allowing users to sideload Android app APKs.

Limited app ecosystem with availability issues across regions

With the app ecosystem playing a critical role in the success of a product, capable hardware needs to be complemented with enough apps for various use cases. At Counterpoint, we used the device in our US, China, and India offices. We were able to successfully connect it with an iPhone 15, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, MacBook Pro 16 (M1 Pro), and a Windows 10-powered Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 where screen mirroring worked well. Using the Nebula app on macOS, we could use three virtual desktops, but only a screen mirroring option was available with a Windows laptop.

We wanted to try some apps, but both the US and India teams could not download any as the Nebula app on Android was not available in those regions. Despite software updates, XREAL Beam (China market version) currently offers only four 2D applications – document management, Bilibili (video APP), iQiyi (video APP), and Alibaba Cloud Drive.

User experience

The Air 2 Pro comes pre-installed with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video apps, and we were able to successfully log in and watch TV shows and movies without a hitch. The experience was immersive and better than expected. Logging in to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video was a bit of a hassle, especially for someone with limited experience of using such devices. This was exacerbated by a dissatisfactory cursor experience as the cursor kept sliding into one of the corners and sometimes failed to appear on the display at all.

After logging in, however, the experience of watching a couple of episodes of ‘Secrets of the Great British Castles’ on Netflix was quite exciting. After some adjustments, the first entire episode could be watched in a single sitting with relative ease. The experience was quite immersive with the drone views of the castles being especially superior on these glasses.

Pricing and availability

The XREAL Air 2 is priced at $399, whereas the XREAL Air 2 Pro comes for $499. They went on sale in October 2023 in the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy. The glasses’ companion handset accessory, the XREAL Beam, sets users back by another $120.

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XR Gets Apple Vision Pro Boost, Market Set to Bounce Back in 2024

  • XR headset shipments are expected to increase by a record 3.9 million units in 2024, marking a high double-digit YoY growth from a small base.
  • Major releases in 2024, including Apple’s Vision Pro, will sustain the momentum generated by Meta and Sony in 2023 with the launch of Quest 3 and PlayStation VR2 respectively.
  • AR is projected to grow from a very small base, driven by successful launches like XREAL’s Air 2 and Air 2 Pro.
  • North America, the biggest XR market, will further widen its lead in 2024 as Apple’s Vision Pro is exclusively available in the region for much of the year.

Seoul, Beijing, Boston, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, New Delhi, San Diego – January 9, 2024

Extended Reality (XR) headset shipments are projected to increase by a record 3.9 million units in 2024 to clock a high double-digit YoY growth, according to the latest Counterpoint Global XR (VR/AR) Forecast. Apple’s Vision Pro, which goes on sale in the US on February 2 (with pre-orders starting on January 19), will generate user interest and industry movement which will benefit incumbents. 2024 will also carry forward the momentum from 2023, marked by several launches from major players like Meta and Sony.

 

Global XR. (VR & AR) Market Shipments, 2016 – 2024(F)

Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Analyst Harmeet Singh Walia said, “Apple’s highly-anticipated entry into the XR space has long been expected to mark a watershed moment for the industry. However, we expect Apple to sell about half a million units of Vision Pro, its $3,500 mixed reality (MR)* headset, in 2024. This makes up a low single-digit share of the 2024 global XR market. The first iteration of the Vision Pro headset will primarily attract die-hard Apple fans, developers, early adopters and enterprise users. A more optimistic scenario could unfold if Apple successfully boosts the supply of key components for the headset and experiences higher-than-expected interest from the end market. Moreover, the consumer interest Apple’s entry is generating will benefit market incumbents offering competitively priced headsets, towards which many enthusiasts who wish to try the technology without incurring Apple’s hefty price tag would gravitate, boosting the global XR market.”

2024 will see the continuation of another trend – the transition from pure virtual reality (VR) to MR* as major players, both existing and upcoming, rush to launch MR products or add passthrough to successors of their pre-existing headsets. Since Counterpoint considers such headsets as part of its VR category*, it remains dominant. The standalone form factor is preferred and is likely to remain so despite Apple’s Vision Pro requiring a wired connection with an external battery case.

Augmented Reality (AR) is projected to grow by 54% YoY in 2024, bucking the trend of three years of consecutive declines. This growth will be driven by XREAL’s Air 2 and Air 2 Pro AR Glasses, which quickly became the best-selling AR glasses in China. Besides XREAL, which targets the larger consumer segment, AR will be driven by high-spec and high-price products in the niche enterprise segment. At just about 2%, AR, however, will remain a small contributor to overall XR shipments.

Commenting on the regional performance, Senior Analyst Karn Chauhan said, “North America was already the biggest contributor to XR shipments with nearly 70% of the best-selling Meta headsets shipping in the region. This will grow further in 2024 as Apple’s Vision Pro is available for sale exclusively in the US for most of its first year. While Europe remains a major market, as with its economy, its share of the XR market is expected to lag further behind North America due to slower adoption and limited content. Streaming not taking off as a use case, strict gaming regulations, and the education and enterprise segments, in which XR is popular in China, being niche, growth in China too will remain sluggish in 2024. The rest of Asia-Pacific benefited from the launch of Sony’s PlayStation VR2, which did well in its home country of Japan, among the few major XR markets in the region together with South Korea, Australia and New Zealand that will continue performing strongly in 2024.”

Samsung’s re-entry into the segment, likely with an MR* headset in 2024, will also generate traction, but regardless of its launch price, it will contribute less than Apple to global shipment growth due to a late-year launch.

Pico, owned by TikTok’s parent ByteDance, is unlikely to fully recover from the setbacks its latest Pico 4 suffered in 2023. DPVR, another major Chinese player, while remaining strong in the Chinese education sector, will struggle to break out as a major global player despite having launched E4, its gaming PC VR headset.

*Counterpoint’s XR services currently divide the market into two device types – VR and AR. AR includes glasses and headsets with transparent displays. VR includes headsets that substantially or fully obscure the real world but may use video-pass-through (VPT) technology to feed real-world views to the wearer and/or combine them with digitally created environments, hence covering headsets (including Apple’s Vision Pro) commonly marketed as MR, which Counterpoint currently buckets under its VR category.

Feel free to reach us at press@counterpointresearch.com for questions regarding our latest research and insights.

Background

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Follow Counterpoint Research

press(at)counterpointresearch.com

Counterpoint Quarterly: Wearables Q4 2023

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Quarterly

WEARABLES EDITION

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Published date: January 4th 2024

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Global XR (AR & VR Headsets) Market Share: Quarterly

A repository of quarterly data for the global XR (AR & VR Headsets) shipments market

VR headsets Global XR market share Q3 2023

Brands Q3 2022
Meta 72%
Pico 12%
HTC 3%
Others 13%
Brands Q4 2022
Meta 84%
Pico 7%
Xreal 3%
Others 6%
Brands Q1 2023
Meta 52%
Sony 33%
Pico 7%
Others 8%
Brands Q2 2023
Meta 53%
Sony 30%
Pico 9%
Others 8%
Brands Q3 2023
Meta 49%
Sony 32%
Pico 9%
Others 10%

Source: AR & VR Headsets (XR) Quarterly Model Shipments Tracker: Q1 2020 – Q3 2023

Highlights:

  • Global XR headset shipments plunged 29% YoY in Q3 2023, marking their lowest quarterly volume since Q4 2020.
  • This drop in volume was driven by a lack of compelling headset launches from top OEMs and softer consumer demand. Consumers are showing less interest in buying XR headsets as there are no exciting use cases.
  • Meta’s market share slipped below 50% for the first time in four years, mainly due to the PSVR 2’s presence. However, with the launch of the Quest 3 in the holiday season quarter, Meta is expected to drive significant volumes.

WATCH: AjnaLens VR Training – Teleporting Trainees to Job Site

For a more detailed AR & VR headsets (XR) shipments tracker, click below:

This is a comprehensive database of Extended Reality (XR) headset model level shipments by quarter including retail price and 30+ specifications and features. It covers tethered as well as standalone Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) headset models. We are tracking 35+ XR brands and 70+ headset models by memory variants.
Covers 99% of the global market
Data: Model level shipments of XR headsets including retail price, specs, and features.
Time Period: Q1 2020 – Q3 2023

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For detailed insights on the data, please reach out to us at sales(at)counterpointresearch.com. If you are a member of the press, please contact us at press(at)counterpointresearch.com for any media enquiries.

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Global Smartwatch Market Rebounds; Huawei and Fire-Boltt Hit New Peaks

  • The global smartwatch market rebounded with a 9% YoY rise in Q3 2023 shipments, continuing the upward trend from the previous quarter.
  • Growth was propelled by strong performances in the Indian market, particularly from Fire-Boltt, and Huawei’s significant surge in China.
  • Outside India, the rise in high-specification HLOS smartwatches, driven by new Apple, Huawei, and Samsung releases, dominated the market.

Seoul, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – December 01, 2023

Global smartwatch shipments increased 9% YoY in Q3 2023, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Smartwatch Model Tracker. After experiencing a slowdown earlier this year, the smartwatch market regained momentum in Q2 2023 and continued the positive trend in Q3 as well. The primary drivers of this growth were the sustained strong performance of the Indian market led by Fire-Boltt, as well as Huawei’s tremendous rebound in China.

Research Analyst Woojin Son said, “There is significant value in examining the growth drivers of the global smartwatch market in Q3 2023. Amid a global economic slowdown, most consumer device markets like smartphones are still experiencing stagnation compared to a year ago. In contrast, the smartwatch market has recorded YoY growth for two consecutive quarters in both premium and budget segments. Notably, High-level Operating System (HLOS)* smartwatches, typically featuring higher specification and price, have grown largely driven by Huawei in Q3 2023 as the company posted its highest quarterly performance ever. Most of this surge occurred in the Chinese domestic market, coupled with the launch of new Huawei 5G smartphones.”

High-level Operating System (HLOS)* Smartwatch Market Share, Q3 2022 vs Q3 2023

Source: Counterpoint Global Smartwatch Model Shipment and Revenue Tracker, Q3 2023

Son added, “Meanwhile, the Indian market, which has been powerfully leading the Basic* smartwatch sector, maintained robust growth in the quarter. The country contributed to 35% of total global shipments, securing its position as the leader in the global market for the third consecutive quarter.”

Market Summary

  • Apple delivered its best-ever Q3 performance, with a 7% YoY increase in shipments. This achievement is particularly noteworthy given that the latest Apple Watch, a key product in their lineup, was released slightly later than the previous year. The strong shipments of the 2nd-generation SE model significantly contributed to the growth of the industry leader.
  • Huawei witnessed an impressive 56% YoY increase in overall shipments for the quarter, with HLOS smartwatches seeing a remarkable 122% surge. Its Watch 4 and 4 Pro series, released in Q2 2023, and the Watch GT 4, released in Q3 2023, have achieved good popularity. The increase in Huawei’s shipments was due to the return of its smartphones and the bundled sales model induced by various sales channels.
  • Samsung experienced a 19% YoY decline in shipments. However, the new products released in August exhibited only a 3% drop compared to the previous ones. In essence, the decrease in Samsung smartwatch shipments this quarter appears to be primarily attributed to a sharper decline of legacy models. Meanwhile, the proportion of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic significantly increased compared to last year’s 5 Pro, contributing to the rise in the ASP of the brand.
  • Fire-Boltt reclaimed its leadership position in India after recording its all-time highest quarterly shipments. All the three major Indian brands — Fire-Boltt, Noise and boAt — are experiencing a slower growth rate than before. However, this is interpreted not as a sign of sluggishness, but rather as an indication of entering a phase of stabilization.

*Types of smartwatches:

  • HLOS smartwatch: Electronic watch running a high-level OS, such as Watch OS (Apple) or Wear OS (Samsung), with the ability to install third-party apps.
  • Basic smartwatch: Electronic watch running a lighter version of an OS, with no ability to install third-party apps.

Background

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Global Smartwatch Shipments Market Share (Q2 2022 – Q3 2023)

Global Smartwatch Shipments Market Share Q3 2023

November 30, 2023

This page represents the global smartwatch market share based on shipments by quarter (from 2022-2023) by top brands.

Global Smartwatch Shipments Market Share Q3 2023
Note: Rankings provided are based on the standings for each quarter.
The chart includes the top three brands and “others” for each quarter.

Source: Global Smartwatch Shipments by Model Quarterly Tracker

Brands Q2 2022
Apple 27%
Huawei 7%
Samsung 9%
Others 57%
Brands Q3 2022
Apple 22%
Samsung 12%
Noise 9%
Others 56%
Brands Q4 2022
Apple 37%
Huawei 7%
Samsung 9%
Others 47%
Brands Q1 2023
Apple 26%
Fire Boltt 9%
Samsung 9%
Others 56%
Brands Q2 2023
Apple 22%
Huawei 10%
Noise 10%
Others 58%
Brands Q3 2023
Apple 22%
Fire Boltt 10%
Huawei 9%
Others 59%

Highlights:

  • The global smartwatch market grew 11.1% YoY in Q3 2023 to reach 35 million shipments units. Q3 was a turnaround for the market after it recorded a YoY decline for two straight quarters.
  • While Apple and Samsung saw YoY declines of 10% and 19%, respectively, Huawei and India’s top two brands, Noise and Fire-Boltt, recorded significant growth during the quarter.
  • By region, India led the overall global gains as it more than offset declines in North America, Europe and the rest of Asia.

We also have a detailed smartwatch shipments model tracker available for subscribing clients:

 

Global Smartwatch Shipments by Model Quarterly Tracker, Q3 2023

This report analyses the shipments of smartwatches splitting them in ASPs, price bands and revenues. It also includes model and specs level analysis with a region split.
This is a robust quarterly report with fact-based deep analysis that covers multiple dimensions and will help players across the smartwatch value chain to holistically analyze the current state of the global smartwatch market and plan ahead of competition.

The global smartwatch market increased by 11.1% YoY reaching 35million of quarterly shipments. This is a turnaround in three quarters after experiencing a YoY decline in the previous two quarters.

While Apple and Samsung saw YoY declines of 10% and 19% respectively, Huawei and India’s top two brands – Noise and Fire Boltt – recorded significant growth. By region, India led the overall global gains as it more than offset declines in North America, Europe and the rest of Asia.

Contact Us Read More

 

*Data on this page is updated every quarter

This data represents the global smartwatch market share by quarter (from 2020-2023) by top brands. For detailed insights on the data/tracker, please reach out to us at contact(at)counterpointresearch.com. If you are a member of the press, please contact us at press(at)counterpointresearch.com for any media enquiries.


Disclaimer: The data, charts and other visuals on this page are the exclusive property of Counterpoint Research. While we encourage free use and sharing of all the data on this page, we do request that you always attribute Counterpoint Research

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