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The strong momentum in the watch and earwear categories led to the highest ever first-quarter shipments of wearables in India, an IDC report said on Thursday.

The India wearables market grew 170.3 percent (year-over-year) in Q1, shipping 11.4 million units, according to the data from IDC’s ‘Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.’

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Watches grew 463.8 percent (YoY) in Q1 to become the fastest-growing category in wearables, replacing earwear which also maintained a triple-digit growth in the first quarter.

The overall wristwear category, which includes wristbands and watches, grew 74.8 percent YoY in the quarter.

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“From style to health monitoring, the wearables have now become one of the most sophisticated devices in recent times. The category is witnessing a constant shift in the competitive landscape with new players entering the segment,” said Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India said.

However, shipments for overall wearables fell by 24.9 percent sequentially in Q1, owing primarily to a drop in earwear shipments. This decline can be primarily attributed to the leftover inventory with channel partners, which restricted the fresh buying in this quarter.

“The ongoing consumer enthusiasm for earwear devices demonstrates the category’s healthy appetite. Vendors are trying to capitalize on the ride with low and mid-priced devices. This is not only helping lower the category’s ASP but also adding improved features to acquire new users,” said Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India.

Xiaomi maintained its lead in the wristbands category with a 37.3 percent category share. OnePlus, the new entrant in this category, finished second, replacing realme with a 25.2 percent share in Q1.

A total of 1.4 million watches were shipped in Q1. The noise continued to lead the category with a 26.7 percent share, followed by BoAt with 21.9 per cent.

In the earwear category, BoAt, with its multiple devices in its portfolio, continued to lead with a 29.3 percent.

“The second wave of the pandemic has caused a sudden stir across vendors and channel partners, impacting the planned launches to postpone and delay in deliveries,” Singh said.

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