The real wireless headset market has been reporting strong annual growth for a long time, and 2021 is no different. Counterpoint study expects global shipments to be 310 million units, up from 233 million in 2020.
Apple AirPods dominate, but their share may fall
Apple dominated the so-called listening market throughout the past year AirPodit and AirPods Pro. These products, some of which the best wireless in-ear headphones, accounted for a total of 31% of global shipments, corresponding to approximately 72 million copies. The giant, based in Cupertino, is expected to maintain its market leadership position in 2021, with around 83 million deliveries. But Apple’s growth is lower than the market average, so its market share could shrink to 27 percent.
Apple’s weaker performance in current market forecasts is ultimately due to a lack of new products. The current generation of AirPods are over two years old, and the AirPods Pro came on the market 18 months ago.
The new generations of AirPod and AirPods Pro are expected to hit the market in the third quarter of 203 and Counterpoint study expects this to drive growth in the premium segment in the second half of the year.
JBL is expected to take 4% of the market. It may not seem like much, but we’re talking about a highly fragmented market, so getting in the top five is no achievement.
Real growth in 2021 will come from budget headphones
The real growth of this product group in 2021 will come from low and mid-priced points where Xiaomi is expected to lead the way in 9% of the world market. It also corresponds to its 2020 market share and puts it second.
After that should be the budget brand QCY, the Fifth brand with 3% of the market. As competition intensifies, brands are expected to be more aggressive in terms of pricing.
The overall market will also be further fragmented in 2021, he predicts Counterpoint study. Over time, however, it is very likely that demand will consolidate around certain brands, similar to what has happened in the desktop and smartphone markets.