The iPhone 13 is the best-selling smartphone in the world and the iPad is the most popular tablet in the world. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, dominates the smartwatch market and new data shows that Apple is also a leader in the wireless earphone segment.
Apple’s Beats range is growing in popularity
A total of 68.2 million true wireless earphones and headphones were shipped in the first three months of 2022, according to new information from canalys† This result represents a healthy growth of 17% compared to a year earlier.Apple remained the leading manufacturer and was the only brand in the top three to see an increase in shipments, reaching an impressive 21.7 million units in the quarter – up 14% year-over-year.
The company behind AirPods and Beats headphones was able to acquire a combined global share of 31.8%, slightly less than the 32.6% registered in the first quarter of 2021, but almost triple the share of its closest competitor Samsung.
Apple’s results broken down by lineup, launching AirPods 3 seems to have had little effect, with total AirPods shipments remaining relatively stable at 19.3 million units, which is a 3% growth.
Despite rumors a few years back about a potential discontinuing the Beats line, Apple appears to have successfully used its sub-brand to target a different group of users, including those who own Android smartphones.
While AirPods are marketed specifically to iPhone owners, the most recent Beats earphones are optimized to work with both Android and iPhones. Apple even went as far as used a Galaxy S21 last year to (briefly) launch the Studio Buds.
Samsung’s share of the earphones market is declining
Last quarter was in second place behind Apple Samsung. It managed to ship 6.5 million units in the first quarter of 2022, enough to secure a 9.5% share of the global true wireless earphones market.
While it has widened the gap with third-place Xiaomi, which recorded a larger 16% drop with shipments of 4.9 million units in the January-March quarter, both shipments and share for Samsung have fallen year-on-year. In the first quarter of 2021, the company managed 6.7 million units and 11.5% respectively.
Cheap wireless earphones are where it is now
Samsung and Apple mainly compete in the premium earphones segment, but it seems that most recent growth is in the under-$50 category, dominated by other brands such as JBL and Skullcandy. This growing trend contributed to the decline in the average retail price of wireless earphones in the first quarter of 2022 — it fell from $153 in the first quarter of 2021 to $144 in the first quarter of 2022 — although there’s a chance it could. could be reversed in the coming months.
As Canalys points out, cheaper earphones will likely be the first to feel the shock of rising costs and inflation. Demand in this segment could also decline sooner as people with tighter budgets manage their spending more quickly.
To maintain current shipping levels, Canalys speculates that some brands may target niche segments such as wireless fitness earphones and true wireless headphones for gamers.