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Apple’s AirPods continue to dominate the earbud market, despite gains by its competitors

Apple’s AirPods have fallen behind, but they’re still the best.

airpods pro
Image: KnowTechie

The wireless headphone industry is set to have a big year. According to a recent report from Counterpoint Technology Market Research, this industry is on a path of 83% growth and 238 million units in 2021. That’s a lot.

Liz Lee, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Research, says that this highly optimistic prediction is based on a few well-established trends. One is the unstoppable trend of removing the audio jack from devices. Plus, mobile media consumption is also rapidly expanding, which also significantly drives wireless headphones’ demand.

When it comes to market share, Apple’s Airpods is still the leader, they command about 29% of the market. Xiaomi ranks second as it has a market share of 13%, trailed by JBL and Samsung with a market share of 5% each. Jabra, Jlab, and QCY each have a 2% market share. The top 10 list of most popular TWS brands is complete with Realme, EDIFIER, and Sony, each owning 2% of the market share. 

Counterpoint’s research also points to the budget segment of the market. In Q3 2020, almost half of the brands that made it on the top 10 list were budget brands. Some of the headphones were under the $50 price range, with some of them even below the $20 mark. Xiaomi is considered the leader in this segment and the primary reason they have managed to consolidate their second position. 

However, Sujeong Lim, another senior analyst with Counterpoint Research, believes that Apple, with its Airpods lineup, will remain the dominant player in the wireless headphone segment of the TWS industry because of Apple’s ecosystem. Lim says that Apple’s ecosystem provides a superb experience between its software, services, and hardware. That has helped Airpods to stay on top.  

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