FOCUS: Smartwatch, fitness tracker market to thrive as models multiply, prices fall
By Yekaterina Yezhova
MOSCOW, May 28 (PRIME) -- A widening range of affordable smartwatches and fitness trackers will further fuel the Russian market, which doubled in money and tripled in units in January–March, the country’s largest retail chains say. While Apple still led in monetary terms with its costly premium gadgets, multiple sales of inexpensive Chinese devices overwhelmed the market.
“Sales of smartwatches and fitness trackers in Russia doubled on the year to 2.9 billion rubles in January–March and tripled to 400,000 units. This market demonstrates a stable progress and growth rates ascended on the year. Higher sales resulted from a fall in the average price by 30%. Devices became more affordable and user-friendly, and managing applications are easier to exploit,” electronics seller M.Video said in a research.
Mobile electronics retailer Euroset assesses the whole market of smart wearables at 400,000 units in January–March, comprising not only smartwatches and fitness trackers, which counted 320,000 units, but also smart glasses and GPS-equipped wristwatches for children, the seller’s PR Director Alexandra Pertseva told PRIME.
The average price of a smart wearable device was at 8,500 rubles in January–March, she said. Retailer Svyaznoy Commercial Director Dagmara Ivanova said the average price of a smartwatch fell by 18% and of a fitness tracker by 3%, which is explained by a wider assortment in the low-price category.
According to online retailer Ozon, the average price of a smartwatch decreased 30% on the year to 6,120 rubles thanks to a wider offer in a cheaper segment, while the average price of a fitness tracker remained flat, a seller spokesperson said.
“It’s worth noting that appearance of a great deal of affordable and high-quality models of Chinese make propelled the market of smart wearables to the mass segment,” Pertseva at Euroset said.
The market is rather agile regarding leading brands and client preferences, for example, among trackers, Jawbone was replaced by Xiaomi and Huawei/Honor, and Jet, a brand of fitness trackers and children’s watches, gained over 10% of the market in units from almost zero,” M.Video said.
“A medium price segment of smartwatches running on Android Wear for 6,000–20,000 rubles, comprising such brands as ASUS and Motorola, had disappeared. Consumer demand focused on Apple, Samsung and low-priced Chinese manufacturers, like Krez. Demand for sports watches from 15,000 rubles is on the rise. Devices with an emergency button for elderly people and children took 13–15% of the market in units.”
The market’s leader in units is Xiaomi’s brand Mi, accounting for a third of sales. Huawei/Honor expanded its market share in natural terms to 11% from 2% on the year. In money, Apple held more than half of the market, M.Video said.
Below is a breakdown of the market of smartwatches and fitness trackers by the leading names in January–March as seen by Euroset:
|Market share in money, %||Market share in units, %|
Among smartwatches, customers preferred the Apple Watch Series 3 Aluminium 42mm and 38 mm, as well as Samsung Gear 3 Frontier SM-R760, Ivanova at Svyaznoy said. “Among fitness trackers, the most popular models were MI Band 2 with the market share of 62% in units, Huawei/Honor Band 3 with 16% and Jet Sport FT-3 with 5%,” she said.
According to Svyaznoy, the Russian market of smartwatches and fitness trackers will keep on progressing. “Manufacturers produce more technological models that help people in their daily living needs: sports, healthcare and other useful options,” the seller’s executive said.
Pertseva at Euroset said: “We can expect the segment of smartwatches and fitness trackers to keep on growing further. We’ll see demand for models with various price tags, depending on a bunch of options the customer wants to get. A wide assortment range will allow the client to find a perfect match.”
Ozon sees stable growth of popularity of gadgets thanks to appearance of new models with various functions in any price category. “It’s evident today that devices will get ‘smarter’ and we’ll see models from manufacturers of watches of the premium segment,” the seller’s spokesperson told PRIME.
(61.6659 rubles – U.S. $1)