Apple may be struggling to take the iPhone’s market share in India beyond just 2%, but there’s one segment where it is winning: smartwatches.
In the second quarter of 2018, Apple Watches made up 35% of the total smartwatches sold in India, according to market tracker Counterpoint Research. The number of Apple smartwatches sold in India rose 16% year-on-year from the same period last year, Counterpoint said.
San Francisco-based Fitbit was a distant second, though it, too, doubled its quarterly market share, followed by South Korea’s Samsung.
While Apple rules the segment, its market share slid marginally during April-June 2018 as other players, including Fitbit, launched new models.
However, Apple’s Watch Series 1 continues to be the best-selling model among Indians. This early-generation model lets users send messages and monitor their heart rate and workouts.
Indian smartwatch market
The overall Indian smartwatch market is tiny—about 1% of the worldwide size.
Last year, 34 million smartwatches were shipped globally, of which only 260,000 went to India, according to Counterpoint.
“(Indian) consumers have still not warmed up to the idea of adding additional devices that need to be charged periodically for almost the same features present in advanced smartphones,” said Satyajit Sinha, research analyst at Counterpoint. “For example, a heart rate sensor and an activity tracker using gyroscope are already present in many smartphones.”
However, Counterpoint predicts “significant growth” in the second half of the year, “majorly due to the launch of the Amazfit brand in July 2018.”
While both Apple and Fitbit price their smartwatches at above Rs15,000 ($209), Amazfit smartwatches start at around Rs10,000 ($139).
Amazfit’s manufacturer, the Chinese firm Huami, also enjoys the backing of the smartphone maker Xiaomi. “Its established sales channels and the brand awareness of Mi smartphones and bands will drive the home advantage for the Amazfit brand,” Sinha said.