Earbuds, as a consumer electronics category, have come of age and in the July-September period, India saw the shipments of record 80 lakh TWS (true wireless stereo) devices led by homegrown company boAt, a new report showed on Wednesday.
Unlike other consumer electronics categories including smartphones, local brands continued to record the highest penetration in the TWS earbuds market with 63 per cent share and the average selling price (ASP) went down 22 per cent (on-year), according to Counterpoint Research.
India's TWS market posted 55 per cent growth in Q3 2021 to reach the highest shipments ever.
Brands pushed high amounts of inventory into the retail channels ahead of the festive season.
"The Indian TWS market witnessed highest-ever shipments in a single quarter in Q3 2021 driven by the strong festive planning, new launches and multiple sales events on major e-commerce platforms as well as brands' own websites," said senior research analyst Anshika Jain.
boAt captured 35.8 per cent share in the overall India TWS market in Q3, representing its highest shipments volume since its inception.
"In this quarter, brands like realme and 1MORE followed the partner brand/sub-brand strategy with the launch of Dizo and Omthing, respectively, to expand their reach and enhance competitiveness," she added.
In terms of features, there was an increased emphasis on Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and gaming.
"Key players such as Truke and Ptron came up with their first ever gaming TWS earbuds. Besides, prominent brands introduced various new models in the premium segment as well for tech enthusiasts," Jain said.
For instance, the OnePlus Buds Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, Nothing Ear 1 and JBL Pro Plus were presented as new alternatives, which further increased the ASP of the premium segment by 20 per cent.
"Domestic manufacturing is gaining more significance as more brands continue to partner ODMs to bring made-in-India devices and enhance their production capabilities.
"Noise partnered with Optiemus, promising to offer multiple locally made devices in the coming quarters. Similarly, realme announced a partnership with Khy Electronics," said research associate Anam Padha.
Another Indian brand, Ambrane, set up a unit to locally manufacture audio devices.
Among the new entrants in Q3 2021, Dizo was the fastest growing brand. It introduced four new models in the TWS market within the first quarter of its launch, the report said.