Truly wireless earbuds(TWS) segment saw a tepid quarter-on-quarter growth in the global market in Q2 2021, Counterpoint Research reports. Apple reportedly lost a significant share in both sales volume and value despite big price drops on the AirPods.
Counterpoint says Samsung managed to gain from Apple’s losses in the YoY TWS market share, while Xiaomi was a standout across sub-$100 (roughly Rs. 7,200). Overall global unit sales and value of the TWS segment is reported to have risen only by 1 percent and 9 percent, respectively. This is likely a result of the fresh lockdowns in several regions during the period.
Apple’s AirPods earbuds (TWS) had a good quarter. Shipments grew 27% YoY and 5% QoQ to over 19 million. The slightly slowing quarterly growth gives a clear indication that the lineup is getting aged and consumers are already waiting for the refreshed AirPods 3 (coming in second half 2021) and new AirPods Pro 2 (coming sometime in 1H 2022). AirPods TWS revenues grew 28% YoY and 8% QoQ, which is a very good result for the second quarter.
Counterpoint says that the tech giant is likely not worried about this temporary loss. Liz Lee, senior analyst at Counterpoint says, “I think the third generation AirPods expected next month could be a massive hit. It’s been so long since we’ve seen a new release, and if you factor in some attractive pricing, it’s very possible the AirPods 3 could push overall sales for Apple TWS hearables past 80 million for the year.”
As mentioned, the report adds that Samsung grabbed a big portion of the TWS Q2 2021 premium segment, while Xiaomi was a standout across the sub-$100 segment. India’s boAt took the eighth spot in the global TWS market backed by great gains in the home market. JBL, JLab, and QCY truly wireless brands saw an increase in Q2 2021 YoY market share, according to Counterpoint.
Counterpoint also notes that Samsung, JBL, and Xiaomi have raked in significant revenue share in Q2 2021. Lee explains that this is partly because of out-performance in China, where there is a strong ecosystem of smaller budget brands.
“Despite this expansion, as well as declines in the US, the sub-$100 and premium markets continue inching towards parity in terms of volume. This trend is likely to be accelerated by Apple in the coming months, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the premium segment pushes past 50 percent in the second half,” Lee says in the report.