Apple's AirPods grabbed 26% of wireless headphone sales after launch, report claims

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Apple's AirPods have made a sizable impact on the wireless headphone market, according to research from Slice Intelligence, with the audio accessory reportedly capturing more than a quarter of the market.




For the United States alone, the report estimates wireless headphones made up 75 percent of online revenue in the entire headphone market in December, up from approximately 50 percent for the same month last year.

Slice suggests that there was a drastic change in terms of market share last month, triggered by the launch of the AirPods. Before the launch on December 13, Beats occupied 24.1 percent of online revenue for wireless headphone sales, according to the report, with Bose following behind with 10.5 percent, then Plantronics and Jaybird with 7.8 percent and 7.45 percent respectively.

For the period after the launch, Apple suddenly became the dominant wireless headphones brand, moving from having no share at all to occupying 26 percent of the market. Revenue derived from Beats wireless headphones dropped down to a 15.4 percent market share during the same time, and though Jaybird and Plantronics dropped down to below 3 percent each, Bose managed to improve its standing to 16.1 percent.




The report also claims the launch day of EarPods turned December 13 into the largest single day for online headphone sales for all of 2016. Spending on headphones on that day was ten times greater than the pre-holiday average for the year, eclipsing sales on other major shopping events, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon's Prime Day.

It is worth noting that the figures come from e-receipts generated by Slice's panel of online shoppers, rather than being compiled from official figures issued by manufacturers or retailers. The data only covers a portion of the United States, with one graph compiled from receipts from over 245,000 online shoppers in the United States, so it serves more as a guideline for sales trends.

This limited data set also suggests that buyers of EarPods tend to be male, making up 85 percent of shoppers polled. When broken down into age groups, it is also suggested that AirPod buyers tend to be younger for males, but female buyers skew towards the "boomer" age group than "millennials" or "Gen X."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    sog35sog35 Posts: 11,624member
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.
    calijahbladelkruppfriedmudNameo_patchythepiratealbegarcsuddenly newtonwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 48
    ibillibill Posts: 380member
    imagine the impact to Apple's Q1 if they had shipped on time.
    calijahbladeblastdoorNameo_albegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 48
    schlackschlack Posts: 562member
    But this also shows Apple dominating the market even before the Air Pods were released. Article doesn't seem to want to focus on that. Beats is an Apple product/brand. Now they just dominate it further.
    calijahbladealbegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 48
    ibillibill Posts: 380member
    schlack said:
    But this also shows Apple dominating the market even before the Air Pods were released. Article doesn't seem to want to focus on that. Beats is an Apple product/brand. Now they just dominate it further.
    Yeah, I guess Apple just sucked all the air out of another product category.
    calijahbladealbegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 48
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,650member
    26%??

    What happened to the other 74%???

    Fire Cook immediately!

    Steve is graving in his roll!!
    /s
    edited January 12 king editor the gratenocreatorblueNameo_watto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 48
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,060member
    sog35 said:
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.
    And you can't find them anywhere.
    calibadmonk
  • Reply 7 of 48
    Soli said:
    sog35 said:
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.
    And you can't find them anywhere.
    Not sure if you're sarcastic but besides my pre order I bought a second pair in my local Apple Store at about 3pm the week after Christmas. 
  • Reply 8 of 48
    calicali Posts: 2,683member
    Soli said:
    sog35 said:
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.
    And you can't find them anywhere.
    Not sure if you're sarcastic but besides my pre order I bought a second pair in my local Apple Store at about 3pm the week after Christmas. 
    He's Not being sarcastic they're sold out until March last I read.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 48
    calicali Posts: 2,683member
    I strongly opposed Apple removing the headphone jack but after seeing how it's playing out I think removing the jack was the smartest move Apple made last year.
    nocreatorbluechasmalbegarcwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 10 of 48
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,440member
    sog35 said:
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.
    Dumb ass tech media? How about the dumb ass trolls and naysayers right here on AI?
    calichasmwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 11 of 48
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,217member
    I think the AirPods are pretty cool and will do very well, but I'd be very hesitant to draw too many conclusions based on two weeks of data following two months delay to the release and a little over a week before Xmas when people are scrambling to buy gifts. If the AirPods has been released on time, many of those orders would have been spread out over the past two months, not all concentrated the week before Xmas. And if you were giving wireless headphones as gifts and weren't planning on buying AirPods, you would have already purchased them before Dec 13th.

    Since all of the numbers in the report are percentages, sales of non-AirPods tapering off because the purchase was already made and sales of AirPods artificially concentrated in a very short timeframe due to the delayed release...makes for a pretty misleading use of statistics.

    Between the Beats brand (which Slice recognized as Apple owned if you read the whole report) and AirPods, Apple will dominate the market. But I really wouldn't get too excited about the "0-26% market share jump" as being anything but a one-time perfect storm of sales trends.
    edited January 11
  • Reply 12 of 48
    calicali Posts: 2,683member
    lkrupp said:
    sog35 said:
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.
    Dumb ass tech media? How about the dumb ass trolls and naysayers right here on AI?
    Or android users. I just had one tell me Airpods are only selling because they "come with the new iPhone". 

    You cant make up android stupidity.

     
    edited January 11 pscooter63StrangeDayspatchythepirateSolijkichlinewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 48
    wiggin said:
    I think the AirPods are pretty cool and will do very well, but I'd be very hesitant to draw too many conclusions based on two weeks of data following two months delay to the release and a little over a week before Xmas when people are scrambling to buy gifts. If the AirPods has been released on time, many of those orders would have been spread out over the past two months, not all concentrated the week before Xmas. And if you were giving wireless headphones as gifts and weren't planning on buying AirPods, you would have already purchased them before Dec 13th.

    Since all of the numbers in the report are percentages, sales of non-AirPods tapering off because the purchase was already made and sales of AirPods artificially concentrated in a very short timeframe due to the delayed release...makes for a pretty misleading use of statistics.

    Between the Beats brand (which Slice recognized as Apple owned if you read the whole report) and AirPods, Apple will dominate the market. But I really wouldn't get too excited about the "0-26% market share jump" as being anything but a one-time perfect storm of sales trends.

    Prepare to be surprised next year then.  The AirPods are way better than any pre-launch review said... and word of mouth is growing fast.  These are going to continue to sell consistently well.
    patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 48
    chasmchasm Posts: 195member
    I haven't even had a chance to try out a pair, and of course AirPods are not the headphones you want to buy if you need noise-cancelling cans (for air travel and such). That said, it does look like these are taking off as better-than-average Bluetooth earphones with excellent pairing and solid connections. Unmentioned in the article (strangely) is that between Beats and AirPods, Apple went from controlling a quarter of the wireless headphone market (not too shabby in itself) to 41.4 percent in total (EDIT: I forgot to put in the word "wireless" in my original post, my mistake). But please, do tell me more about how the company is failing and Tim Cook should be fired, trolls ...
    edited January 11 caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 48
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,217member
    friedmud said:
    wiggin said:
    I think the AirPods are pretty cool and will do very well, but I'd be very hesitant to draw too many conclusions based on two weeks of data following two months delay to the release and a little over a week before Xmas when people are scrambling to buy gifts. If the AirPods has been released on time, many of those orders would have been spread out over the past two months, not all concentrated the week before Xmas. And if you were giving wireless headphones as gifts and weren't planning on buying AirPods, you would have already purchased them before Dec 13th.

    Since all of the numbers in the report are percentages, sales of non-AirPods tapering off because the purchase was already made and sales of AirPods artificially concentrated in a very short timeframe due to the delayed release...makes for a pretty misleading use of statistics.

    Between the Beats brand (which Slice recognized as Apple owned if you read the whole report) and AirPods, Apple will dominate the market. But I really wouldn't get too excited about the "0-26% market share jump" as being anything but a one-time perfect storm of sales trends.

    Prepare to be surprised next year then.  The AirPods are way better than any pre-launch review said... and word of mouth is growing fast.  These are going to continue to sell consistently well.
    No doubt...they will sell well and Apple will likely dominate. But the post directly above this by Chasm is already claiming that Apple is "controlling" over 40% of the market based on this very limited, single point in time which is affected by very unique circumstances.

    Unless Apple is planning on withholding sales of AirPods from Oct to mid-Dec again next year, I do not expect to see a similar huge jump in sales the last half of December. The sales will be more spread out and as a result the moment-in-time percentages, which is really all this report is good for, will be lower (but still high and covering a larger time frame).

    How about we wait and see what the steady state is before deciding by just how much Apple is going to dominate the market. :) 
    edited January 11
  • Reply 16 of 48
    Just imagine if they bundled AirPods for iPhone 7/Plus. Everyone would've already been living in the wireless future.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 48
    I've been wearing mine everyday since i received them for Xmas. I run trails with them and have not had them fall out (or even close to falling out)  in the last 4 runs. These are fantastic. They feel very, very "Apple like."
    edited January 11 StrangeDayscaliwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 18 of 48
    danvmdanvm Posts: 324member
    sog35 said:
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.

    They are ugly - Yes, they are.
    They will get lost - Yes, they are very small.  So it will happen.
    Sound quality is horrible - I haven't tried them yet, but most review agree that sound quality is similar, maybe a little better than earbuds.  So I suppose they sound bad.
    They will fall out of your ear - I suppose for many people, since they have no option for different sizes. 
    They are too expensive - Yes, they are.
    Did i mention they ugly? - Yes, already did.

    So maybe media ir right.  Still, their opinions have no relation on how well or bad they sell.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    danvm said:
    sog35 said:
    but,but,but,but

    they ugly
    they will get lost
    sound quality is horrible
    they will fall out of your ear
    they are too expensive
    did i mention they ugly?

    WRONG.

    Dumb ass tech media is wrong again.
    What surprise.

    Bought my Airpods and loving it. Tim cook totally nailed it.

    They are ugly - Yes, they are.
    They will get lost - Yes, they are very small.  So it will happen.
    Sound quality is horrible - I haven't tried them yet, but most review agree that sound quality is similar, maybe a little better than earbuds.  So I suppose they sound bad.
    They will fall out of your ear - I suppose for many people, since they have no option for different sizes. 
    They are too expensive - Yes, they are.
    Did i mention they ugly? - Yes, already did.

    So maybe media ir right.  Still, their opinions have no relation on how well or bad they sell.
    What nonsense. You need to get a pair, bro. 

    They arent ugly.
    I haven't lost mine. (and do diamond earrings suck because they can be lost?)
    Sound quality is not horrible, it's pretty good. 
    They don't fall out of my ears. 
    They aren't too expensive (more than free?)
    They aren't ugly. 

    See how opinions work? Only diff is, i've actually used a pair. With such a post i have to wonder if you even have an iphone. 
    edited January 11 patchythepiratepscooter63caliwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 20 of 48
    • Well, ugly is in the eye of the beholder, so it's impossible to argue that either way.
    • Ditto sound quality. Most reviews I've read say they sound slightly better than the stock ear buds that come with the iPhone. Some people say this is great. Other people claim it's only slightly better than an airsick cat. Everyone has to decide for themselves if they like the sound.
    • Most people say they stay in quite well. Some people can't walk across the room without them falling out. Human anatomy isn't consistent, so the fit of these won't be either. Again, you have to try them for yourself, but from what I've seen, they fit fairly well in the majority of people.
    • As far as being overpriced, I would agree with this as I wouldn't pay $170 for a set of headphones, but Apple can't keep them in stock, so if they are overpriced then there's a lot of people willing to pay too much for them and good luck convincing Apple to lower the price. The market will determine that.

    Apple is definitely off to a good start with these but initial numbers like these can be misleading, especially with a product that is totally new and has new features like the AirPods. There's a lot of hype and buzz and a lot of the initial sales can be related to this. A better gauge will be sales over the coming year after things have settled down a bit. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. I suspect a lot will also depend on how big the market is for completely wireless headphones selling at $170. My guess is that there will be more and more competition, and if Apple keeps the W1 technology proprietary then their market will be limited to iPhone users as I doubt most android users would be willing to pay a price premium for technology they can't take advantage of.

    edited January 11
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