Updated: September 2, 2021 5:28:18 pm
The global market for TWS earphones saw only a slight quarter-on-quarter growth in the second quarter of 2021, suggests a new report by Counterpoint Research. Sales weakened across the US and Asia ex-China markets during spring, which is typically when strong sales are observed, resulting in overall unit sales and value rising by only 1 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively.
However, growth remained good on a year-on-year basis, as the market enjoyed a 27 per cent growth compared to 2020’s Covid-impacted second quarter. In terms of market share, a significant shift was seen as Apple lost share in both sale volume and value, and Samsung grew in the premium segment.
“Apple lost considerable share in both sales volume and value despite big price drops on the AirPods, but the company is unlikely to be too worried,” Counterpoint Senior Analyst Liz Lee said. “I think the 3rd 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 80m for the year,” Lee adds.
How did brands fare this quarter?
”Samsung grabbed a big portion of the premium segment, while Xiaomi was a standout across sub-$100. Indian player boAt, also made some great gains on the back of domestic market recovery to reach eighth globally, it’s best showing ever. Overall, the ecosystem is strong, and we’re seeing many niche and long-tail players eking out respectable gains,” Lee said.
“In terms of revenues, significant share gains are being made by really only a handful of familiar names – Samsung, JBL and to a lesser extent Xiaomi, Lee explained, citing an “out-performance” in China, where the ecosystem of smaller budget brands is stronger.
“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 per cent in the second half,” Lee adds.