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India Largest Smartwatch Market, Welcomes New Smart Rings

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Sarah Pereez
Sarah Pereezhttps://lahorelives.com
With almost 3 years of experience in journalism, Sarah Pereez has joined Lahore Lives as a Editor in 2023. She has previously worked as an Entertainment journalist, covering Hollywood & Bollywood news. At Lahore Lives, she tracks news updates, edit articles and write copies for science and technology.

Two new smart rings are about to enter the India largest smartwatch market worldwide. Even though wrist-worn wearables are still quite popular in India, a couple of local manufacturers are betting on diligent customers who track their health and sleep but are less concerned with the form aspect.

Boat and Noise have fought hard to compete with Apple, Samsung, and Huawei with their reasonably priced wearables, and now they’re entering the market for smart rings. The pair frequently appears in the top five wearable device makers on international lists. Both businesses announced plans to introduce smart rings in India last month, but the products have yet to be available. Boat and Noise must first determine demand, but they are both pessimistic.

India Largest Smartwatch Market

According to market research company Counterpoint, the South Asian country became the largest smartwatch market in the world in the third quarter of 2022, with growth of 167% year over year. According to IDC, India recently overtook China and the United States.

According to a recent analysis by the company, the country’s wearable market grew by 37.2% year over year in the second quarter of 2023, when 32.8 million wearables were supplied. Compared to earphones, which showed a 15.2% year-over-year growth, India’s smartwatch shipments nearly quadrupled to 12.8 million in the quarter.

Local firms, such as BoAt and bootstrapped Noise, mostly lead the market. However, conventional players like Apple and Samsung have recently experienced increased shipments of their wearables in India as the country saw a considerable boom in luxury smartphones.

Local businesses’ emphasis on releasing ultra-affordable, sub-$30 smartwatches and wireless earphones with a high-end look and feel is the main driver of their ongoing success.

According to IDC, the nation’s average selling price (ASP) of smartwatches dropped from $46.6 in the second quarter to $25.6 in the third. The overall wearable ASP decreased from $26.7 to $21 from the previous year.

According to IDC, BoAt, and Noise are the two leading wearable manufacturers nationwide, with respective market shares of 26.6% and 13.5% in the second quarter. With a market share of 10.7%, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo (including OnePlus) lagged behind Indian manufacturers in the wearables sector.

India, the world’s largest smartwatch market, is getting new smart rings

Sales have increased because of inexpensive devices, but there are costs. Even yet, the vendors strive to provide the most functionality at the lowest price.

Smart rings, however, have thus far been unable to generate the same curiosity. While companies like Oura are entering the U.S. market for smart rings, two early competitors in India are Ultrahuman and Pi Ring. However, introducing BoAt and Noise could increase consumer interest and adoption.

Navkendar Singh, associate vice president at IDC India, said, “This move is likely to inspire other wearable brands to enter this category, leading to increased variety and choices for consumers.”

He continued by saying that innovative form factors, like smart rings and conventional wearable form factors, have a huge unrealized potential. Boat and Noise, two rivals, offer accurate health and sleep tracking via smart rings. They each have a specific group of clients in mind, though.

BoAt’s CEO and managing director, Sameer Mehta, told TechCrunch that the company, which began developing its smart ring in November, targets users of second or third-generation smartwatches rather than first-time buyers.

Amit Khatri, a co-founder of Noise, said the company targets those who want precise health and sleep tracking but want to stay on an analog watch. The startup has been developing the product for more than a year.

As the new nucleus, a finger

Technology behemoths like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei have long prioritized the wrist. It’s only sometimes the most comfortable choice, and maintaining accurate wrist tracking can be difficult. It’s essential to ensure your smartwatch is securely fastened if you want reliable data. But a clever ring can be the perfect answer if you have the proper size.

According to Mohit Kumar, founder, and CEO of Ultrahuman, which counts iSeed, Steadview, Nexus Venture Partners, and Blume among its major investors, a finger has access to arteries that a smartwatch could not.

“You put it on your finger if you go to any medical grade pulse oximetry equipment. It is not worn on the wrist. This is a much superior source of data, which is the main reason, he explained.

In agreement with Kumar, Khatri of Noise I stated that a device could obtain significantly more data from a finger than a smartwatch.

The ring must be equipped with top-notch sensors and precise algorithms to provide genuinely precise results. The sensors generally included in a smartwatch are difficult for manufacturers to incorporate into rings.

Making sure that smart rings fit perfectly is the other major challenge. A small gap can change the data these gadgets gather from the finger.

To ensure the size is exact, clever ring designers have designed a sizing kit with a few common finger sizes that they deliver to consumers. Boat and Noise have selected outside manufacturers for their manufacturing.

BoAt and Noise, Indian leaders in smartwatches and TWS, are expanding to smart rings

According to Khatri, TechCrunch Noise started from scratch while developing its smart band, Luna Band. Noise Labs is a division of the startup where experiments with various form factors, such as smart eyewear, are conducted.

When asked who makes the smart rings for the Noise, he responded, “We have identified manufacturers doing it for the world’s best.”

According to BoAt’s Mehta, the business initially chose a Chinese manufacturer to create 5,000 units. Ultrahuman manufactures smart rings in its plant in India, unlike BoAt and Noise. According to Kumar, the business considered using an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) but chose to build up its own native production to have total control over hardware and software.

“There are many, many OEMs available,” he declared. Most people give you partial firmware access but only full access if you have to invest billions of dollars in finance. They do this because they expect a certain volume from you.

Ultrahuman offers smart rings in London, the Middle East, and India. Out of the 12,000 units sent monthly across markets, according to Kumar, 9,000 are shipped to India, making it the most important market. India is still a bigger country, he declared. “That’s probably because our distribution is in India; we first launched there,”

According to the creator, Ultrahuman has determined that between 500,000 and 1 million people in India represent a potential consumer base.

Pricing

Pricing is crucial for smart rings to reach a wider client base, even though data integrity is necessary to keep customers.

While BoAt plans to market its product for less than $80, Ultrahuman presently offers its smart ring, the Ring Air, for $349. Noise has not yet disclosed the cost of its Luna Ring, but co-founder Khatri told TechCrunch that the company was looking at a “premium” market this time.

Customers can obtain health and sleep tracking with their smart ring by paying a different sum regularly to firms like Oura, which operates in the U.S. Even though it was already charging significantly for the gadget, Oura got user complaints after placing important metrics behind a monthly membership paywall. Indian athletes contend that such a system is ineffective there.

According to Kumar, the pricing of Ultrahuman’s smart ring is now relatively high, but the company is “trying a lot” to lower it.

According to him, the only restriction is that the data must be accurate to a medical standard. Customers in India are said to be “extremely value-conscious” by Ultrahuman. As a result, it wants to protect its worth, maintaining a premium price that is more than what is anticipated to be offered by the new participants.

India, the world’s largest smartwatch market, is getting new smart rings

“There are two strategies: One is to sell to a mass and forget about customer feedback because you’re always selling to more people, or you sell to a niche, and you become more value-driven,” the founder said.

The smart ring from Ultrahuman has tungsten carbide-coated titanium and medical-grade sensors. The business intends to roll out a Flexi Pay Plan eventually, allowing clients to pay $25 monthly rather than the full cost upfront. It still wishes to use something other than a subscription model, though.

“The subscription business model is faulty, especially for this product. Numerous businesses in the U.S. charge a flat cost + $8 every month. That is unfavorable to the user because the hardware changes after a few months; why should you continue to pay the same price? Said Kumar.

Additionally, Ultrahuman sells its CGM that is mounted on the arm. The instrument was initially created to monitor blood glucose levels in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. However, the business has now integrated its CGM with a smart ring, stating that doing so will provide “deep correlations and predictive insights.”

According to Kumar, about 35% of those who purchase the ring also use CGM. Boat and Noise are planning to wait to launch a subscription-based business model for their smart rings, similar to Ultrahuman.

SaaS (software as a service) could be more effective in India. Even companies like Netflix struggle to maintain a subscriber base, even though entertainment is one of the main industries in the nation, according to Mehta of BoAt.

In the future, BoAt thinks it’s possible to implement a “recharge model.” With this strategy, users of its smart ring could access services by periodically paying a small fee. Regarding the plans for India, Oura declined to comment.

Increased Competition

IDC estimates 100 million wearables will be supplied to India in 2022. Affordable wearables from Indian players like BoAt, Noise, and Fire-Boltt made significant contributions. This year, the tendency is anticipated to continue.

According to Singh of IDC, rising consumer demand for smart wearables like fitness trackers and fashion accessories has fueled the market’s expansion. This emerging market is projected to become more competitive with the introduction of smart rings from BoAt and Noise.

According to Singh, “smart rings provide the same health and fitness tracking capabilities without requiring an external screen or taking up space on the user’s wrist or ear, making them more compact and seamlessly blending into the user’s fashion choices, adding to added convenience.”

According to Kumar, the new players will aid in boosting acceptance among the nation’s offline merchants. He claimed that if one went to an offline merchant today and stated, “I’m selling a smart ring, what do you mean?” they would ask. Although both BoAt and Noise intend to sell their smart rings offline soon, they will soon begin selling them online.

Kumar also thinks the new rivals may take some of Ultrahuman’s potential clients. “If we end up offering them more for their money in terms of hardware and software and overall a better experience. Naturally, most people will move here eventually,” he remarked.

According to recent speculations, Apple and Samsung may also look for ways to enter the smart ring industry. Both titans, nevertheless, still need to make their official information public.

It will take some time for well-established firms to enter the market, according to Khatri of Noise. “We can move quickly. He remarked that we would fail because we could explore more quickly as a startup. “To launch a product for any larger organization is a completely different ballgame.”

However, by developing smart rings, these Indian entrepreneurs increase the range of available and reasonably priced options for consumers, providing alternatives until tech behemoths like Apple or Samsung inevitably bring equivalent products to market. Source

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