Apple takes majority share of U.S. headphone market, study finds

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2023
According to a recent study, nearly 50% of polled U.S. consumers own either Apple's AirPods or a product from Apple's Beats lineup.




The study, run by Statista, asked 4,220 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 in the United States about the headphones they use. It found that 34.4% of the responders used Apple's AirPods. The survey didn't specify between products in the AirPods lineup.

Perhaps even more interesting was the fact that the second-highest share was Beats by Dre, which are also Apple headphones. Beats accounted for 15.3% of the market.

Image Credit: Statista
Image Credit: Statista


The remaining shares were Bose at 12.5%, Samsung at 12.2%, JBL and Sony each account for 11.4%, Skullcandy at 8.4%, and LG Electronics at 7.0%.

Launched in 2016, AirPods were Apple's first foray into wireless earbuds. Since then, Apple has expanded the lineup to include the higher-end AirPods Pro and the over-ear headphones AirPods Max.

In 2020, Apple's AirPods and Beats dominated the audio wearable market. Apple shipped an estimated 108.9 million AirPods and Beats devices throughout the year.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    DOJ to investigate. 
    patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    kmareikmarei Posts: 173member
    If only apple would support higher quality codecs like aptx hd or ldac
    Beatslkrupp
  • Reply 3 of 17
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,088member
    Oh jeez... waiting for the iHaters, trolls, and the EU to chime in and whine "monopoly!!"
    Beatslkrupplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    That's impressive.

    Once again Apple takes a product that is initially mocked as overpriced and flawed in various ways and a few years later is the ubiquitous market leader.
    lkruppdanoxlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Now imagine if Apple didn’t treat Beats like a bastard!
    gilly33lkrupp
  • Reply 6 of 17
    When you consider that Apple sells even more speakers than just headphones, such as in their iPhones, iPads, Macs, Watches, etc, there's no doubt that Apple physically sells more speakers than any other company in the world.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    kmarei said:
    If only apple would support higher quality codecs like aptx hd or ldac
    If only they could get rid of the damn lightning port and go usb-c or something so you could actually enjoy their hi-res music. Having said that I just got AirPods Max and their sound quality is really great. No earbuds no matter who makes them works the way I want with my ears. I’m looking at maybe getting the Beats studio pro for outdoors. 
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    gilly33 said:
    kmarei said:
    If only apple would support higher quality codecs like aptx hd or ldac
    If only they could get rid of the damn lightning port and go usb-c or something so you could actually enjoy their hi-res music. Having said that I just got AirPods Max and their sound quality is really great. No earbuds no matter who makes them works the way I want with my ears. I’m looking at maybe getting the Beats studio pro for outdoors. 
    Same here, although I haven't tried any recently. Moreover, I can't stand high pressure headsets squeezing my head for any period of time. They all feel "high pressure" to me, because I have a big head, both physically and metaphorically. I was considering over the ear buds, but they would conflict with my glasses, and even wearing glasses is a physical pain on my ears some days.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    34.4 + 15.3 = 49.7%

    That's the largest share, and is very impressive and good news if you're a fan of Apple.  But what it isn't is a majority.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    The correct word for the headline is plurality.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    sflocal said:
    Oh jeez... waiting for the iHaters, trolls, and the EU to chime in and whine "monopoly!!"
    kmarei said:
    If only apple would support higher quality codecs like aptx hd or ldac
    gilly33 said:
    kmarei said:
    If only apple would support higher quality codecs like aptx hd or ldac
    If only they could get rid of the damn lightning port and go usb-c or something so you could actually enjoy their hi-res music. Having said that I just got AirPods Max and their sound quality is really great. No earbuds no matter who makes them works the way I want with my ears. I’m looking at maybe getting the Beats studio pro for outdoors. 
    And here they are like the sun rises in the east.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    I wonder how this compares to the stats from back when they included free earbuds with their iPhones. I imagine they had a pretty good share then, too. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    That's impressive.

    Once again Apple takes a product that is initially mocked as overpriced and flawed in various ways and a few years later is the ubiquitous market leader.
    Except that totally didn't happen.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    When you consider that Apple sells even more speakers than just headphones, such as in their iPhones, iPads, Macs, Watches, etc, there's no doubt that Apple physically sells more speakers than any other company in the world.
    Excuse me, but this is Samsung.
    1. Sells more phones alone than Apple sells phones, tablets and Macs combined.
    2. Also sells a good number of tablets and a decent number of watches and headphones, and some PCs.
    And those are merely the products where Apple and Samsung directly compete. Where they do not:
    3. Samsung is the #1 seller of smart TVs by a good margin.
    4. Samsung sells a ton of traditional home audio/theater products too (projectors, sound bars, speaker systems etc.)
    5. Even some of their monitors have built-in speakers.

    So yeah, Samsung sells more speakers than Apple does by a mile. In fact they would still rival Apple were you to take their Android products away. 

    Sorry guys, but myopic views of the tech industry - such as the strange idea that Microsoft is sitting around crying over not having a mobile OS when their current CEO is a cloud guy who opposed Microsoft's mobile efforts in the first place (that was Ballmer's folly) - or how losing Apple's 5% to 8% market share is going to devastate Intel (when Intel will sell 5 times as many GPUs to PC makers and consumers as they ever sold CPUs to Apple) aren't helpful. A big, huge world out there of people who don't use Apple products.

    You have to remember that Apple is MUCH BIGGER in North America than anywhere else. Apple has 25% PC market share in North America but Macs are almost never seen in the wild in much of the rest of the world. The iPhone has 50% market share in America, the iPad probably bigger, but outside of Japan the rest of the world is Android dominance. (And Japan does so for nationalism reasons, as Android devices are produced primarily by South Korea and China. To show the impact of this nationalism, Japan is one of the few areas outside North America where Chromebooks have gotten traction ... primarily because Japanese companies make them). This shows just how absurd statements like "there's no doubt that Apple physically sells more speakers than any other company in the world" are. Indeed Xiaomi - whose smartphone sales rival Apple and also sells no small amount of TVs and other audio capable devices in categories that Apple is not in - may exceed Apple here.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Looking forward to them using this success to kill ancient, weak, unreliable Bluetooth.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Appleish said:
    Looking forward to them using this success to kill ancient, weak, unreliable Bluetooth.
    Ummm ... AirPods use bluetooth. You were under the impression otherwise? Also, despite Beats having the official position as "for everything else" Apple does very much want to sell AirPods to the 1.5 billion Windows users and 3 billion Android users, and bluetooth is the only way to do this. AirPods aren't ecosystem exclusionary devices like HomePods, which is precisely why the former is #1 in its category and the latter is in the bottom of its category (unless you want to count Samsung's Bixby speakers that were only sold in South Korea and never updated past the first generation). 

    Not sure that the alternative is. Wi-Fi speakers are good for home audio but not practical for anything else. (Plus an office full of people using Wi-Fi for their PCs, smartphones AND headphones would stink.) NFC speakers are great - there was an attempt to make them a thing shortly after NFC support was added to Android in 2012 - but the range is too short and they can't be used with anything else (PCs, TVs, smartwatches, consoles etc.) The same would be true of UWB even if the range was better. 

    A consortium of the leading manufacturers and platform owners - Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Sony, LG, Alcatel, Xiaomi, BBK, Lenovo, Dell, HP etc. - would need to come together, agree on a "let's get rid of Bluetooth" standard and agree to implement that standard in all their products. Even then, those products would need to support Bluetooth to be backwards-compatible with the like 10 billion devices where it is the only option. AND the new products going forward would need the new option to be SIMPLER and easier to find/configure in the settings than Bluetooth because otherwise that is what everyone is going to use. That was a problem with the NFC speakers that I bought ... pairing them to my Samsung over NFC was harder than pairing them over Bluetooth, so I eventually just used Bluetooth. Getting everyone to go from 3G to 4G - then from 4G to 5G - would be simple by comparison.
    Alex_V
  • Reply 17 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,681member
    One two Punch equals Knockout…….
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