Apple’s wireless headphones still dominate the market, but their popularity is falling

While the wireless headphone market is booming, Apple’s AirPods have significantly lost popularity over the past year and have seen some of their market share stolen by the competition.

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According to new research from Counterpoint, the market for True Wireless headphones appears to be doing well, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and component shortages that have crippled the industry in recent months. Indeed, manufacturers have shipped approximately 300 million wireless headphones in 2021compared to just over 230 million in 2020, i.e. a nearly 24% increase in just one year.

Counterpoint also reveals that shipments also increased by 25% in terms of value, indicating that customers spent more money in 2021 on wireless headphones. The increase in sales of Bluetooth headphones obviously did not delight all manufacturers, sinceApple, the market leader, saw its market share fall in 2021.

TWS Market 2021 Counterpoint
Credit: Counterpoint

Apple remains in the lead, but sees its market share collapsing

Although Apple managed to sell 5% more AirPods headphones compared to 2021, thanks in particular to aggressive promotions on its AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, the American giant saw its market share plummet in 2021 . ATpple still remains the industry leaderbut its market share has fallen from 30.2% in 2020 to 25.6% in 2021. The arrival of the new generation AirPods 3 at the end of 2021 does not seem to have allowed the manufacturer to recover. For its part, Samsung sales increased by 33% thanks to the arrival of its new Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 headphones.

In 2021, 16% of sales were wireless headphones over $200compared to only 14% in 2020. This high-end segment is still dominated by Apple with 75% market share thanks to AirPods. On the side of the segments under 50 dollars and between 50 dollars and 100 dollars, Xiaomi takes the lead. This year, many new brands have tried to penetrate this already busy market, including Nothing with its Ear (1) at 99 euros.

Source: Counterpoint

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