Smartwatches are rapidly growing in popularity, especially in India. Reportedly, India has a 27% share of the global smartwatch market, and OEMs are making major profits from this. Surprisingly, FireBolt has globally surpassed Samsung as the second-leading smartwatch brand. However, there is a dark reality behind this, which we will discuss in this article.

India’s smartwatches are white-labeled cheap Chinese watches.

Most Indian smartphone brands, such as Karbonn, Micromax, Lava, and others, used to import local smartphones from China and sell them in India to make huge profits. Since these smartphone brands are not investing in R&D, research, or innovation, they are just importing local smartphones, white-labeling them, endorsing them with celebrities, and selling them to make a profit.

This is quite similar to the game that local smartwatch brands are playing. By selling at a high price, they can generate huge profits. There are non-negligible operational costs for white-labeling, logistics, and other operations.

Stop buying fitness bands in the name of smartwatches.

Most local smartphone brands use Da Fit for watch app support, unlike actual smartwatches like Samsung, Google, or Apple, where you get dedicated app support. In the case of local Indian smartwatch brands, they have been using this third-party app. The company that developed Da Fit is Mo Young Ltd. from China.

Growth of smartwatches in India

Over a quarter of smartphone shipments are sold in India, and the smartwatch segment has grown by 121%. Since Indian smartwatch companies focus on market share, they are slashing the prices of their smartwatches to attract more consumers.

Stop buying fitness bands in the name of smartwatches.
Stop buying fitness bands in the name of smartwatches.

Last year, the average selling price was around $50, which has now dropped to $29. This indicates that most smartwatches around this price are rebranded and not worth the money. There is no serious competition in this price segment. These companies do not develop their apps or invest in R&D, and their major role is marketing.

False marketing by Indian smartwatch brands

Most of the time, these smartwatch brands make false promises. For example, one company claims to use an AMOLED display on their device, but it’s just an LED. Another example is fake product branding on the box, banners, and other marketing materials. Brands have even abused the Spo2 monitor sensor during COVID-19 because it was extremely important at the time but was of poor quality and showed fake readings.

These watches are nothing more than smartbands or fitness bands. Xiaomi and Realme sell fitness bands for almost the same price. The only difference is the design since the required sensors and functionality are the same. Local Indian smartwatch brands copy the designs of top smartwatches like the Pixel Watch, Galaxy Watch, or the Apple Watch.

Despite being fitness band watches, they are sold as smartwatches, which is false marketing. Sometimes, these fitness bands don’t offer accurate health readings, so they are neither good for fitness nor a proper watch. So why would you buy it? They are even ready to promise fake features just because they want to profit.

Digital Watch vs. Smart Band vs. Smartwatch

There are different levels. You can start with a basic digital watch that shows time and other information. Smart bands include health features and the basic functionality of digital watches. Lastly, smartwatches can sync with your smart device, allowing you to control it and even install apps from the Google Play Store, App Store, Huawei Store, or their store to add more functionality alongside health data and digital watch features.

However, local bands and smartwatches do not offer major health benefits. If you are serious about your health, buying a smartwatch with credibility is best if you want to buy one just for fashion.

Brand Value

There is no real brand value. Ultimately, these companies only have customers for a few months. Their business model is about making money, and their customer service could be better. Even if you encounter an issue, they are more likely to send you a new smartphone instead of repairing it because the support is not in India, and they are just importing the products, which means they don’t have spare parts or a team to fix the issue.

These watches could be damaged multiple times; even brands like BoAT are doing the same. Chip manufacturers like Qualcomm provide an out-of-the-box experience to these OEMs that they need to build. So, the only thing these companies are doing is integrating their services and designs. This is why these companies keep releasing smartphones in every price segment and repeating the cycle to make more money.