With AirPods, Apple has captured more than 50 percent of the global true wireless hearables market, followed by Samsung and Jabra, in the first quarter of 2019. According to Counterpoint Research’s Hearables Market Tracker, the true wireless hearables market reached 17.5 million units in the quarter, registering 40 percent growth on quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) basis.
The firm attributes the growth to the new premium models and the spread of existing budget models. It also said that while all regions continued to the growth, North America and Europe were the fastest growing regions in the world.
Apple’s market share remained at the same level as it was in the last quarter. The company's market share failed to grow despite the launch of Apple's generation AirPods. While sales of the first generation AirPods were higher than expected, the sales of the new model were weaker than initially anticipated, owing to the market’s mixed response.
Samsung, however, expanded its market share and ranked second for the first time. The market research firm forecasts aggressive promotion of Samsung's Galaxy Buds as the main reason for the company's growth spurt in the segmet.
Overall, the premium models, which cost around $150 (approx Rs 10,500) and above, ranked high in the best-sellers list. Brands like QCY and JLAB were strong in the low-to-mid-tier segment. New rising stars, Soundcore Liberty Air and Tzumi Sound Mates showed solid performance, the firm noted.
“It remains uncertain if Apple’s market share could stay at the present level with the current product portfolio in the coming quarters. Samsung is trying to strengthen its dominance with Galaxy Buds, propelled by bundling with Galaxy S10 series. The recent performance of QCY and Soundcore, who are also expanding their global presence, is noteworthy,” said Liz Lee, Senior Analyst, Counterpoint Research.
Lee also said that Google, Amazon and Microsoft are expected to release true wireless earbuds in the second half of this year. “The market is getting more dynamic and energetic,” he added.