AirPods market share falls, but Apple still well ahead of competitors

According to recent data from Counterpoint, Apple’s AirPods market share fell from 41% down to 29%, however Apple still remains ahead of the competition (2-5% range). This fall in market share appears to reflect the growing market of fully wireless headphones from all classes.

Back in the 4th quarter of 2019, Counterpoint placed Apple’s market share at 14% (based on units sold), though it should be noted that Apple took home 62% of the revenue. By Q3 of 2020, that share had fallen to 29%. This actually doesn’t mean that Apple had a fall in AirPods sales. Rather this shows a rise in competition from others in the true wireless space instead. Overall annual growth is expected to grow to 83%.

The company is quoted as saying:

“There is big potential in budget, and we’re already seeing the impact in hearables. In 3Q 2020, half of the top 10 were budget brands with sub-$50 and even sub-$20 offerings; Xiaomi best illustrated the trend as it consolidated its number two spot”.

Counterpoint has also said that the growth in the market is in part caused by the removal of the headphone jack from devices.

“The trend around removing jacks and earphones from devices and boxes is becoming a big driver for TWS segment growth,’ says Counterpoint Research senior analyst Liz Lee. “It also helps that mobile media consumption continues to grow, making TWS the next must-have accessory.”

The company reports that Apple’s 29% share is more than twice that of their nearest competitor, Xiaomi, while Samsung is placed at only 5%.

“Apple’s powerful iOS ecosystem, typically comprised of consumers with larger disposable incomes, has been the main driver for growth – especially in terms of revenues.”

Apple is expected to be launching a new pair of AirPods that are a total redesign of the standard model currently available. This most likely won’t bump Apple back to where they used to sit, it certainly will help increase their shares once again.

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