India TWS Shipments Cross 10 Million, Post 641% YoY Growth in Q4 2020

  • The top three brands contributed almost half of the total shipments in Q4 2020.
  • boAt led the India TWS market, contributing one-third of total shipments, followed by OnePlus and realme.
  • Festive season and many new launches in the affordable segment from major players drove this huge demand. 

India’s TWS market posted 641% YoY growth in Q4 2020 with the shipments crossing the 10 million mark, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s IoT service. This segment is one of the fastest growing in the smart wearables category, and now with the PLI scheme being extended to CIOT, we will witness higher growth in India’s TWS ecosystem.

Commenting on the TWS market growth, Research Associate Anam Padha said, “Key players like Xiaomi and OnePlus were seen carving a niche for themselves by offering new launches at affordable price points and with better features like water resistance, ENC and USB Type-C. Coupled with the festive season, this played a huge role in driving this substantial demand.”

Exhibit 1: India Hearables (TWS) Market Share by Top Five Brands, Q4 2020

 India Hearables (TWS) Market Share by Top Five Brands, Q4 2020
Source: India Hearables (TWS) Shipments by Model Tracker 2020 Q4

Talking about strategy, Research Analyst Shilpi Jain said, “Considering the drastic change in the spending behaviour of consumers due to COVID-19, many brands like OnePlus, Skullcandy and Zebronics adopted a low-pricing strategy and launched models at an introductory price for a limited period. Also, with the PLI scheme being extended to the CIOT segment, including hearables and wearables, a major push will be witnessed from the existing OEMs to strengthen their ‘Make in India’ capabilities and expand their product portfolios. This will pave the way for reduced imports, export competitiveness and a more developed manufacturing ecosystem.”

Discussing the ASP for TWS, Jain added, “TWS ASP in the India market declined 18% this quarter driven by many affordable launches. In 2020, the ASP declined by almost 50% compared to 2019.”

Exhibit 2: Top 5 Best-selling Models in India Hearables (TWS) Market, Q4 2020

Top 5 Best-selling Models in India Hearables (TWS) Market, Q4 2020
Source: India Hearables (TWS) Shipments by Model Tracker 2020 Q4

Key Takeaways:

  • boAt maintained its leading position with 43% QoQ growth and increasing its share to 30% in Q4 2020. This major boost was driven by two of its models, the Airdopes 131 and Airdopes 402, which managed to grab spots in the top five best-selling models’ list with an equal share of 4%. The models were not only available at a strong discounted price of below INR 2,000 during the festive season but also offered better features like USB Type-C charging, voice assistant functionality and instant pairing.
  • OnePlus stepped up its game and took hold of a spot in the top five list for the first time. With a 12% share, the brand marked its presence in the second position by taking full advantage of the opportunity that the India TWS market holds. Launching a new model, the OnePlus Z, during the festive season and offering a special pre-order price helped it become the top-selling model with 9% share.
  • realme maintained its third spot with 10% market share, though its shipments declined during the quarter due to inventory build-up in the previous quarter. Its Buds Q model continued to have a huge demand and rose to the second spot in the top five list for Q4 2020. Going forward, we see multiple affordable launches from realme as it aims to be a leading brand in the CIOT category in 2021.
  • Xiaomi captured the fourth spot with 7% market share in Q4 2020. Its newly launched model Redmi Earbuds 2C held spot in the top five list within the initial quarter of launch. Good build quality, DSP ENC and stylish design at an affordable price are some of the features which immediately caught consumers’ attention.
  • pTron, a domestic earwear audio company, bounced back strongly by catering the demand with multiple new launches during the festive season at a highly competitive price. It is the first brand to launch a ‘Made in India’ TWS device. With the PLI scheme extension, we may see more models under this brand in future.

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