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China Wearable Market Bounces Back with 17.3% Growth in Q2 2023

Published: 9.21.2023

The latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker released by IDC shows that the shipment volume of China's wearable device market in the second quarter of 2023 was 33.5 million units, a year-on-year increase of 17.3%, making it the largest quarterly shipment since 2022. Smart watches were shipped 9.42 million units, an increase of 11.5% year-on-year. Among them, 4.65 million were adult smartwatches sold, an increase of 10.4% year-on-year; 4.77 million were children's smart watches shipped, a year-on-year increase of 12.5%. Compared to smart watches, bands have seen a greater rebound. The shipment volume of bracelets was 4.63 million units, a year-on-year increase of 20.9%.


According to Canalys estimates, vendors shipped 44 million wearable bands worldwide in Q2 2023, representing year-on-year growth of 6%. “The wearables market is coming back to life, driven by increasing consumer demand in various aspects of daily life,” said Jack Leathem, Research Analyst at Canalys. “Demand across different segments is rebounding, leading vendors to address specific consumer needs.”


The basic watch category continued to grow, capturing nearly half the market, mainly thanks to Indian players and major smartphone vendors, such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Huami. In the Indian market, basic watches continued their phenomenal momentum, with shipments up 73%, underscoring the vibrancy of the country’s wearables market.


Despite a year-on-year decline, basic bands maintained a stable market share at 19%, thanks to the availability of affordable options and consumers’ cautious attitudes to higher-priced alternatives. The watch category has seen substantial double-digit growth, primarily propelled by competitively priced basic watches. Vendors introduced a slew of new wearables in the second quarter to bolster their market presence. For example, Xiaomi and Huawei launched basic bands and basic watches with enticing prices, appealing to diverse consumer preferences. Indian vendors have followed suit, with brands such as Noise introducing entry-level models while also launching some higher-priced products to cater to other customer segments. Fire-Boltt has further cut prices, offering consumers exceptional value with an average selling price below US$19.


As the market evolves, clear segmentation trends are emerging among vendors, aiming to boost competitiveness, consumers can now find entry-level products that are not only more affordable but also packed with enhanced features. Advances in screen technology are increasing the reach of smart wearables to a wider audience. Meanwhile, premium vendors are concentrating on enriching features and delivering added value, leading to an uptick in average selling prices. For example, Google saw its average smartwatch selling price jump from US$216 to US$266, thanks to the integration of additional services and value. This strategy reflects a progressive vision that prioritizes value beyond just the hardware, mirroring the rapid progression of the wearables market.


Canalys forecasts the wearables market is poised for sustained growth at a CAGR of 4.1% through to 2027, underpinned by shifting consumer needs. In light of current economic challenges, wearables maintain significant long-term prospects, though short-term economic factors push consumers to value-driven wearables, their enduring appeal lies in consistent quality and long-term data benefits. 

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