Indian consumers’ appetite for smart home devices is intensifying, with sales up 107% year-on-year, according to new research.

Figures from International Data Corporation (IDC) reveal 1.4 million shipments of smart home devices in the second quarter of 2018. Devices include connected lights, smart speakers, connected thermostats, smart TVs, home monitoring and security products, and digital media adapters.

The dominant category, with an 85% share of the smart home device market, is video entertainment, Advanced Television reported; this includes smart TVs, streaming devices, and set-top boxes. Sales were up 81% year-on-year in the second quarter.

One big winner in the market was Xiaomi, which only began selling its smart TVs in India in the first quarter, but saw sales triple in the second quarter to become the leading brand in the category.

Amazon dominates in the streaming device category: nearly 80% of streaming sticks sold in India are Amazon Firesticks.

Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, with IDC India, said: “The Indian video entertainment market is seeing an upgrade to connected media devices and larger screen viewing experience. To drive the growth, companies are upgrading their product portfolios with smart SKUs, relooking at the pricing, and adding new channels to sell their devices.

“OTT content players like Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar, SonyLIV and a host of other streaming services are spending aggressively on marketing and local content availability to hook new customers, in an attempt (at) luring them away from incumbent DTH (direct-to-home) and TV cable services,” he added.

Sales of smart speakers – only recorded as a category by IDC for the past three quarters – were up 43% in the second quarter. Amazon’s Echo range is the leading product with a 59% market share; Google’s Home range is a close second.

To grow this market, Amazon, Google and now Microsoft are reported to be extending the number of regional Indian languages their smart speakers can recognise to include Marathi, Tamil and Bengali among others.

“Although, the initial usage of smart speakers is currently limited to few use cases, as the smart homes market is at a very nascent stage in India, we are seeing signs of it growing beyond entertainment,” said Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director, IDC India.

Sourced from Advanced Television, The Quint; additional content by WARC staff