FOCUS: Rising demand for health, safety gadgets doubles smartwatch sales in 2018
By Yekaterina Yezhova
MOSCOW, Jan 28 (PRIME) -- Love of healthy life and demand for devices for children and seniors more than doubled sales of smartwatches in Russia to 12 billion rubles in 2018, or some 630,000 units, according to preliminary figures of the country’s largest sellers, which expect the growth to persist in the short-time as the market is turning mature.
“Awareness of Russians about the options and advantages of smart wearables, which become indispensable for various live scenarios together with smartphones, has been rising. In most cases, such gadgets are used to improve activity effectiveness, monitor health indicators or as a means of warning in case of a threat to life or security,” Vladimir Chaika, head of the mobile electronics department at M.Video-Eldorado Group, told PRIME.
“In view of a rising number of models and segmentation, affordability, and widening functions, the market moves to maturity and would likely keep the current growth rates in the short-term.”
Smartwatch sales more than doubled on the year to 7.4 billion rubles in January–September 2018 and 150% to 355,000 units. “Sales could amount to 12 billion rubles as of the end of 2018, or 630,000 units,” M.Video-Eldorado Group PR Director Valeria Andreyeva said.
Figures of merged company Svyaznoy-Euroset for January–November 2018 are similar: a 111% rise on the year in nationwide sales to 9.9 billion rubles in January–November 2018 and a 153% increase to 500,000 devices.
“Today the Russian market of smartwatches is not very large, but it’s very dynamic. We see it expanding every year thanks to new solutions and new players offering devices in the low-price segment. Growth dynamics will persist this year,” said Sergei Belozyorov, director for strategic planning and analysis at Svyaznoy–Euroset.
An average price decreased 12% on the year to 19,700 rubles in January–November, according to Svyaznoy–Euroset. M.Video–Eldorado said the indicator shrank 13–15% to some 20,000 rubles in January–September.
“Several years ago, fitness trackers were popular, but now they are replaced by smartwatches, which have occupied almost the whole niche of gadgets for health. Apple is the trendsetter. When designing its devices and applications, the U.S. company pays much attention to monitoring the physical state of a person: pulse control, respiratory rate, and the like,” Belozyorov told PRIME.
“Apple is now joined by others in the health lifestyle industry: similar smartwatches are offered by China’s Honor and Xiaomi, as well as by other players. We think the health trend in smartwatches will remain in 2019.”
Leaders on the smartwatch market were Apple, Samsung, Garmin, and Amazfit. “The market was dominated by Apple and Samsung in money terms by 80% and in units by 70%,” the Svyaznoy–Euroset executive said.
Andreyeva at M.Video–Eldorado agreed that Apple led thanks to sales in the premium segment. Other popular brands comprise Samsung, Garmin, Amazfit, Krez and Huawei, she added.
“Thanks to a strong focus on healthy lifestyle and evolution of technologies, smart wearables show high growth rates due to a lower average price, expansion of assortment in all price segments, a rise in demand for upper-tier smartwatches and targeted models for children and seniors. Online sales became another growth driver: every fourth smartwatch was purchased online in money terms,” Andreyeva said.
One of the most fast-growing segments was smartwatches for children and seniors, mainly up to 5,000 rubles with options of geographic tracking, communication, and an emergency button. This type accounted for 9–10% of sales in money. The most popular manufacturers remained Elari, Jet, and Russian brand Button of Life.
“In addition to target features, Russians are appealed by the contactless payment option provided by the NFC-equipped models of smartwatches,” Andreyeva said.
(65.9170 rubles – U.S. $1)