What factors drive dominance of Indian tech brands in wearables industry?

Phone manufacturers had an advantage with existing design and manufacturing lines, where they often bundled earphones with their phones.

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Years before the pandemic, there was a notable shift towards wireless technology, starting with keyboards and chargers, and then transitioning to earphones and headphones. The arrival of wireless headphones, inspired by Apple AirPods in 2016, created a platform for the trend in tech market which was followed by tech start-ups worldwide.  

Initially, phone manufacturers had an advantage with existing design and manufacturing lines, where they often bundled earphones with their phones. Brands like Xiaomi, Samsung, OnePlus, Realme, and Oppo capitalized on the wireless experience, offering products within the price range from ₹5,000 to ₹20,000.

Entry of Indian tech start-ups

Indian tech start-ups introduced a new category of wireless earbuds, focusing on affordability. Some products were priced at ₹5,000 with limited features like noise cancellation. As manufacturing scales increased, prices became more competitive, allowing start-ups to thrive.

Indian tech start-ups shifted focus to pricing, value, and volume. Similar to Maruti's strategy in the automotive sector, they offered a variety of options within specific price bands. This strategy proved successful, especially with wireless earbuds.

Indian tech brands dominate 

According to the International Data Corporation's data, Indian tech brands dominate India's earwear market. BoAt leads with a 26% market share, followed by Noise, Fire-Boltt, OnePlus, Oppo, and Boult Audio. This dominance is attributed to factors like product variety and competitive pricing.

Indian tech brands offer extensive product variety, according to diverse consumer preferences. BoAt alone offers 130 TWS earbud options between ₹899 and ₹4,999, catering to various budgets and needs. This breadth of choice appeals to price-sensitive demographics and first-time buyers.

Upcoming innovations

Despite success, there's a continued push for innovation and premiumization. Start-ups like Watchout Wearables have introduced experimental products like WearPods, combining smartwatches and wireless earbuds. Moreover, brands like Noise are introducing premium products with advanced features like adaptive noise cancellation, catering to a wider audience.

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