Pre 'AirPods 3' release, Apple losing some traction in wireless earbud market

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's existing AirPods range lost market share globally, but the forthcoming "AirPods 3" is expected to change that.

Apple's AirPods
Apple's AirPods


New market research says that customer interest in the TWS (Total Wireless Stereo) market waned globally in Q2 2021, compared to Q1. Across the US, sales grew only 1% from the previous quarter.

Year Over Year, the market for wireless earbuds did grow 27%. Counterpoint Research attributes that rise to the coronavirus pandemic, and the overall waning of sales to a lack of new devices.

"Apple lost considerable share in both sales volume and value despite big price drops on the AirPods," said Counterpoint Research senior analyst Liz Lee in a statement, "but the company is unlikely to be too worried."

"I think the 3rd generation AirPods expected next month could be a massive hit," she continued. "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."

Counterpoint Research's summary of the wireless earbuds market
Counterpoint Research's summary of the wireless earbuds market


Lee says that despite the current quarter's low rise, the "ecosystem is strong," and the market is proving successful for a number of companies.

"Samsung grabbed a big portion of the premium segment, while Xiaomi was a standout across sub-$100," Lee said. "Indian player boAt, also made some great gains on the back of domestic market recovery to reach eighth globally, its best showing ever."

Apple is expected to announce its "AirPods 3" at an iPhone launch event in September.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,164member
    Remember the photos of what smartphones looked like before the iPhone? As we all know, shortly after the iPhone’s release, suddenly smartphones started to look and work like the iPhone. The iPhone clones were cheaper and, even though they couldn’t match the iPhone’s usability, they gained market share.

    Same goes for the AirPods. Notice how the clones look.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,428member
    lkrupp said:
    Remember the photos of what smartphones looked like before the iPhone? As we all know, shortly after the iPhone’s release, suddenly smartphones started to look and work like the iPhone. The iPhone clones were cheaper and, even though they couldn’t match the iPhone’s usability, they gained market share.

    Same goes for the AirPods. Notice how the clones look.
    You would expect a 'clone' to look identical or very similar.

    The thing is, the market is full of different shapes and sizes and most of them don't actually look like AirPods clones at all.

    In terms of general look and shape, it is determined by ergonomics, not Apple.


  • Reply 3 of 10
    lkrupp said:
    Remember the photos of what smartphones looked like before the iPhone? As we all know, shortly after the iPhone’s release, suddenly smartphones started to look and work like the iPhone. The iPhone clones were cheaper and, even though they couldn’t match the iPhone’s usability, they gained market share.

    Same goes for the AirPods. Notice how the clones look.
    Not at all. There we a few wireless buds around before the AirPods. Technology has just made it easier for other companies to make more that look nothing like the AirPods. 
  • Reply 4 of 10
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,431member
    Aside from the original AirPods, haven’t all subsequent versions been launched via press release? Sure, these are expected to have a new design, but so did 2/3 of those other models, and they weren’t special enough to warrant stage time. Why is everyone just assuming these are event worthy?  
    edited September 2021
  • Reply 5 of 10
    I have just ordered other headphones than Apple AirPods Pro. Because the battery life is 40% better.
    I was riding a train today for 4 hours. AirPods have almost depleted. 
    Though I love how they fit and their light weight.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,706member
    Technology has moved on and Apple has been slow to update, but I would also have to say that price is the biggest reason here.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Those reports that pick just one small part of info to catch headlines are so lame. They can never tell you whole picture. If hearables see massive growth in lower income countries then sales is in majority from android users so even Apple would sell more its share would drop significantly as its market is already quite saturated or waiting for newer models.
    Such report without tables showing complete picture has low value. In this case tables were not provided by source in this case AI is not to blame :)
  • Reply 8 of 10
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    Remember the photos of what smartphones looked like before the iPhone? As we all know, shortly after the iPhone’s release, suddenly smartphones started to look and work like the iPhone. The iPhone clones were cheaper and, even though they couldn’t match the iPhone’s usability, they gained market share.

    Same goes for the AirPods. Notice how the clones look.
    You would expect a 'clone' to look identical or very similar.

    The thing is, the market is full of different shapes and sizes and most of them don't actually look like AirPods clones at all.

    In terms of general look and shape, it is determined by ergonomics, not Apple.
    Yeah man, it’s just the natural progression of design that leads chinese knockoff brands like Huawei to make headphones that look just like Apple’s. 


  • Reply 9 of 10
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,428member
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    Remember the photos of what smartphones looked like before the iPhone? As we all know, shortly after the iPhone’s release, suddenly smartphones started to look and work like the iPhone. The iPhone clones were cheaper and, even though they couldn’t match the iPhone’s usability, they gained market share.

    Same goes for the AirPods. Notice how the clones look.
    You would expect a 'clone' to look identical or very similar.

    The thing is, the market is full of different shapes and sizes and most of them don't actually look like AirPods clones at all.

    In terms of general look and shape, it is determined by ergonomics, not Apple.
    Yeah man, it’s just the natural progression of design that leads chinese knockoff brands like Huawei to make headphones that look just like Apple’s. 


    Sorry. Apple's buds were just like everybody else's, just without the wires! 

    The innovation wasn't in the design. The design basically didn't change.

    Try photoshopping some wires onto AirPods. Do you really think anyone would notice a difference?

    So, what was left? Bluetooth? An earpiece? A stem? A microphone?

    What was new about that? All those elements existed many years before. The only difference was they were huge and obviously less technically rounded. But AirPods were also less technically rounded when the other big players arrived. 

    The devil was in the details and Apple wasn't even really first there either. Nor later.

    Funny that you mentioned Huawei as it was Huawei that brought BT5, truly wireless, noise cancelling, colours, open fit, low latency earbuds to market and in a case that supported wireless charging out of the box.

    Your argument basically boils down to the case design and graphical pairing. Neither of which actually have anything to do with the comment you are replying too! Two minor points, especially when you consider the options available inside the app. Can you tune the noise cancelling of AirPods to your hearing? 

    There are still a huge amount of designs that look nothing like AirPods out there. That was the point. You just chose to ignore it. 

    Not only that but you fail to see that companies like Huawei actually offer true variety to fit your needs. Who did they copy the Freebuds Lace from? Or was it just a design option that had been around for a while? 

    https://www.gsmarena.com/huawei_freelace_pro_review-news-46343.php

    It doesn't matter. 

    You are specifically cherry picking something and deliberately trying to imply it marks a trend. It doesn't. It never has. 

    Apple had a heads up on the market for economical reasons. Nothing else. Apple didn't actually invent the category either. It simply got a product to market earlier. And made users cough up more for a wireless charging option. 

    A product that is now lagging in terms of competition and still expensive.

    I got my FreeBuds 3 with wireless charging case in the box together with a matching wireless charger for a lot less the cost of a pair of AirPods.

    My wife did the same, scoffing at the price of AirPods. 

    What was the point of paying more for less?

     https://www.xda-developers.com/huawei-freebuds-pro-vs-airpods/amp/

    Take a close look at the squared off look of those buds because it is rumoured that Apple is also looking to a squarer design. If they do, would you say it was a Huawei knockoff? 
    edited September 2021
  • Reply 10 of 10
     My wife did the same, scoffing at the price of AirPods.”
    now I’m really convinced, lol. GTFO to your Huawei insider forum where you belong. 
    Airpods work with Apple devices in so many clear and subtle ways that make them the best choice (consider beats for some tastes) and perform extremely well for sound quality and charging.

    For the gentleman disappointed after his 4 hour train ride (poor soul), did you consider taking a 15 minute break for a little ear relief once or twice? 
    As with all current battery devices, most battery charge life is given early in the cycle. No need to fully charge. In fact batteries last longer with partial charges…
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