The global market for true wireless hearables totalled 33 million units (accounting for $4.1 billion) in the third quarter of 2019, growing 22 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), said Counterpoint Research.
According to Counterpoint Research’s hearables market tracker report, geographically, the US accounted for 31 per cent of the global market and exceeded 10 million units for the first time in a single quarter. China has recently expanded remarkably and grew 44 per cent QoQ in Q3.
Apple led the market riding high on the second generation AirPods sales, but its share fell to 45 per cent in Q3 from 53 per cent in the previous quarter, due to growth among second-tier players. Samsung slipped to third place with six per cent share. Xiaomi rose to second place from fourth as sales volume expanded significantly mainly from the Chinese market on the evaluation that its Redmi Airdots is a great budget product with a price point around $20.
JBL and Beats ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. The market share of their new premium models, such as the JBL TUNE 120 released in July, and Beats Powerbeats Pro in May, have increased significantly, boosted by favourable reviews of sound quality and design by consumers. Amoi, a new Chinese brand, with its F9 product has gained popularity, mainly from the Chinese domestic market. Amoi attained the global sixth position, surpassing QCY, the former leader in the low-end market.
Since new powerful models, such as Apple’s AirPods Pro, Amazon Echo Buds, Microsoft Surface Earbuds, and Jabra Elite 75t have recently been released, consumer interest is increasing. Given the recent growth momentum and the effect of year-end promotions, such as Singles’ Day, Black Friday and Christmas, the Q4 market is expected to show further high growth. Thus, Counterpoint Research expects the annual market to reach 120 million units in 2019.
‘True wireless hearables are also in line with future product strategies focused on voice communications from global tech companies and their efforts to create high-added value. In particular, tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google have joined in order to spread AI voice assistants through mobile devices, and accordingly true wireless hearables will evolve into smarter devices by replacing and enhancing some functions of the current smartphone,’ said Liz Lee, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research.