India’s smartwatch market grew 171% year-on-year (YoY) to become the biggest smartwatch market in the world during Q3 of 2022. In terms of regions, India occupied the top position for the first time, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Smartwatch Model Tracker. The main factor behind the record quarter was India’s festive season.

During the quarter, India grew so much that it was pushed to second place globally after North America, which remained the largest market from Q4 2020 to Q2 2022, recording a 21% YoY rise in shipments.

Indian brands expanding their product portfolios at affordable price points and emphasis on local manufacturing also contributed to the growth, says the latest report by the global technology market research firm.

Noise grew 218% YoY to regain the top spot in the Indian market. It ranked third in the global market, followed by Apple and Samsung. In the case of the basic smartwatch market, Noise ranked first in India, but the gap with Fire-Boltt was less than 1% due to fierce competition in that market. Fire-Boltt showed a flat market share compared to the previous quarter but fell behind Noise to retreat to second place in India. Fire-Boltt, which is active mostly in the Indian market, was able to maintain its fourth place in the global market.

Other markets also grew YoY, except China and Europe. Despite inflation and geopolitical crises that have continued since the beginning of this year, the global smartwatch market shipments increased 30% YoY in Q3 2022, Counterpoint's Global Smartwatch Model Tracker shows.

Among the types of smartwatches, the basic smartwatch, with relatively lighter versions of operating systems (OSs) and more affordable prices, has been the key driver in sharply boosting the global market recently. While HLOS smartwatch shipments grew 23% YoY in Q3 2022, basic smartwatch shipments more than doubled YoY, accounting for 35% of the total market.

"This remarkable increase in basic smartwatch shipments shows us that the market base is rapidly expanding toward more accessible segments amid aggressive drives by the supply side. But still, in terms of revenue, the HLOS (high-level operating system) smartwatch overwhelms the basic smartwatch with a market size of almost 10 times due to its high average selling price (ASP),” says Counterpoint research analyst Woojin Son.

Apple grew 48% YoY due to strong sales of its newly released Apple Watch 8 series which accounted for about 56% of the overall shipments. Apple accounted for about half of the market among HLOS smartwatches in Q3 2022. However, this was a slight decrease from the 54% share in Q2 2022 due to the slump in major markets like North America and Europe.

Samsung increased its shipments by 62% QoQ, by launching the new Galaxy Watch 5 series, while its market share in the HLOS segment increased by 5% points QoQ. However, Samsung’s shipments only grew 6% YoY as it lost ground in India, falling below 3% share. In the global market, Samsung was still in second place but with a decreased market share (down by 2.7% points YoY), narrowing the gap with the third-placed Noise.

Although Huawei grew 65% YoY, it recorded zero shipments in India for the first time since 2018. It ranked fifth in the global market, the same as the previous year, data shows. Garmin’s shipments were flat from the previous year. But in terms of revenue, the brand grew 11%. This is because its ASP of about $365 was even higher than Apple’s ASP.

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