India Hearables (TWS) Shipments Posted 700% YoY Growth, Led by Apple, Noise, JBL, Samsung & realme

The top three brands contributed almost half of the total shipments in 2019

realme emerged among top 5 brands within initial month of launch.

Increasing content consumption by smartphone users and features like smart assistants, portability, etc. drove the demand for TWS.

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April 23rd, 2020

The India TWS market posted a massive 700% growth in 2019, becoming the fastest growing market in Wearables, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s ETO service.

Commenting on the growth of TWS market, Research Analyst Shilpi Jain, noted, “The availability of many affordable devices by players like realme, Xiaomi and Noise immediately caught consumers’ attention with their audio quality and ease of use. As the India market remains largely untapped for TWS, the segment holds huge growth potential and opportunities for new players.”

Discussing the use cases for TWS, Ms. Jain adds, “The increasing audio content consumption, portability, and advancements like health and fitness tracking, smart assistants are making TWS popular among smartphone users and driving the demand.”

Counterpoint India Hearables (TWS) Market Share by Top Five Brands 2019

Exhibit: India Hearables (TWS) Market Share by Top Five Brands- 2019

Key Takeaways for the TWS Market in India:

  • Apple dominated the India TWS market throughout 2019 driven by strong sales of second-generation AirPods. Though it is now facing stiff competition as many OEMs are entering into the segment, factors like its reputation as a pioneer, noise-cancelling feature, easy integration with Apple devices and quick charging have helped it maintain its leadership position. Though, in terms of revenue share, Apple will continue to command lion share moving forward.
  • Noise an upstart brand focusing on smart wearables grabbed the second spot with a double-digit market share in 2019. With a portfolio of well-designed TWS devices with long battery life, good audio quality, and affordable pricing, it succeeded in attracting masses. Noise’s Shots X1 Air and X5 also among the top-five best-selling TWS models in 2019
  • JBL captured 3rd position with an 8% market share in 2019. The launch of its C100TWS in December with an amazing introductory offer of  INR 4000 discount together with good bass reproduction, fast charging and one-click access to Siri and Google made it popular among consumers and made JBL 3rd best-selling brand in India.

Counterpoint Top Five Selling Models in India Hearables (TWS) Market in 2019

Exhibit: Top Five Selling Models in India Hearables (TWS) Market in 2019

Talking about smartphone OEMs’ IoT strategy, Research Analyst, Satyajit Sinha, added, “An all-round connected devices IoT strategy, is prompting entry of many smartphone OEMs in this fast-growing segment. Some brands are using an affordable pricing strategy and strong growth momentum while some are leveraging cutting edge features to command a premium. In all, TWS is becoming an important part of smartphone OEMs’ connected devices strategy and drive ecosystem stickiness. Expect more OEMs to jump in and follow Apple, Samsung, and realme in the India market where the attach rate for wireless buds is still quite low. Further, the current lockdown situation due to COVID-19 will accelerate the demand for TWS as many people are working from home and connecting through voice and video calls.”

Apart from the top three, Samsung and realme are the two other major players in the Indian TWS market.

  • Samsung held the 4th position in the market share in the India TWS Market in 2019. Brand popularity, stylish design, comfortable fit of its Galaxy Buds attracted consumers’ attention and helped the brand to 7% market share in total TWS shipments in 2019. Targeting a larger installed base of Samsung smartphones and attractive bundling offers with flagship handsets has helped Samsung grow its share in this fastest-growing consumer electronics segment.
  • The growing potential of the TWS segment in India has attracted multiple smartphone OEMs’ attention to complement its smartphone offerings. realme, one of the fastest-growing brands in India, launched its first TWS- Buds Air in December 2019 and immediately jumped to the fifth-largest brand within the initial month of launch. Similar form-factor to Apple’s AirPods, good-enough sound quality and features such as low-latency gaming mode, at an affordable price point, raised the overall value proposition.

The comprehensive and in-depth report on “India Hearables (TWS) Shipments and Revenue by Model Tracker 2019 is a part of our ETO service. This report is available for download here.

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Analyst Contacts:

Shilpi Jain

Satyajit Sinha