Followed by Xiaomi and Samsung wireless headsets
AirPods defines the category of true wireless headphones (TWS). According to data from Counterpoint Research, in 2019, Apple’s AirPods sales accounted for nearly half of the wireless headset market sales, and it is expected to grow to 82 million units this year. However, more affordable alternatives launched by Chinese competitors are increasingly threatening Apple’s leading position. Today, Apple’s AirPods’ market share barely exceeds one-third, reaching 35% ; Xiaomi follows closely behind (10%), and Samsung Electronics ranks third (6%).
Chart: TWS headset market growth rate far exceeds Apple’s sales
More and more professional brands are joining this market, such as the $90 Lypertek Tevi wireless earphones, which are more beautiful in price and better than AirPods in comfort and sound quality. The 1MORE True Wireless ANC, priced at $180, also has better noise reduction performance than AirPods Pro, which is $250. Samsung’s newly released Galaxy Buds Live also has a noise reduction function, a pod-shaped design is also more refined, and the price is only 170 US dollars. Samsung said that a few weeks before the launch of the product, 300,000 pairs were shipped, but some of them were actually bundled with the Galaxy Note 20 flagship phone.
For Android smart phone users, many of the advantages of AirPods related to the iPhone cannot be enjoyed, resulting in price and functionality becoming the main considerations for these users when purchasing.
Counterpoint analysts said: “The low-end market, including Chinese brands and US manufacturers such as JLab, is eating away at the high-end market.”
The analyst added that in the second half of the year, the competition between Samsung and Apple may become more intense, because people’s positive comments on Buds Live and Samsung’s increased investment are expected to narrow the gap between the two. “We believe that if Samsung can provide a wider choice from mid-range to high-end, then Samsung will be able to attract more users, especially Android phone users.”
As Samsung continues to expand its headset product line, the market expects that the company’s wireless headset sales will more than double this year, from 8 million to 17 million. Apple’s AirPods series is expected to grow from 61 million to 82 million.
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