Apple's AirPods have taken 26% of the online market for wireless headphones

Apple's AirPods have taken 26% of the online market for wireless headphones
After a two-month delay while Apple was ironing out some problems with the product, the wireless Bluetooth powered AirPods finally launched on December 13th. Already, AirPods own 26% of the online wireless headphone market, cementing what Apple CEO Tim Cook has called "a runaway success." The data comes from Slice Intelligence and is generated from actual receipts. This means that the figures should be very accurate.

In December 2015, wireless headphones accounted for half of the entire online U.S. headphones market for the first time. Last month, three out of every four headphones sold online in the states were of the wireless variety. Besides Apple, Samsung has its Gear IconX wireless ear buds that compete with the AirPods. But Apple does have the benefit of having sold millions of Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus handsets, all sans a 3.5mm earphone jack. All of these iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners are potential AirPods buyers. On the day of the product's launch, December 13th, wireless headphone sales made online were ten times higher than the pre-holiday figure for an average day in 2016. For all of 2016, it was the single day with the most online sales of wireless headphones.

Apple has been dominating the category, and not just because of the $159 AirPods. Prior to the product's launch, Beats had the leading market share based on online sales, with 24.1%. That company of course, is owned by Apple. After the AirPods launch, Beats owned 15.4% and Apple had 26% for a combined market share of more than 40%. It might have been coincidence, but Bose got a huge lift from the AirPods launch as its share of the online wireless headphones market rose from 10.5% to 16.1%

Now that we now who is selling product, the question is, who is buying it? Female Boomers have the largest share at 38% followed by male Millemmials at 35%, and female Millennials at 32%. You can check out all of the data by clicking on the slideshow below.

source: SliceIntelligence via RedmondPie



1. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

To steal the line, *grabs popcorn* and now to wait for the usual Apple haters to show up.

7. khankirputsmurf

Posts: 61; Member since: Mar 15, 2015

Dear Alan F, please delete "NoToFanboys" disgusting and offensive comment, comment #4. I already reported about the comment but I just had to write about it to emphasize his demoralizing and inappropriate comment. And if possible limit his comment so he wouldn't dare to post this kind of post in the future.

12. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

What's up with you? You a blind Apple fanboy too?

14. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Thats kumar123 in case you didn't recognize.

18. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Ohh okay, makes sense, same level of stupidity and butthurt.

17. Unordinary unregistered


13. vincelongman

Posts: 5699; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

No need to be a hater/fanboy Just need "common sense" There's no way to track ALL online sales Even governments have trouble applying taxes to online sales since they can't track all online sales Also most people buy headphones instore Its like comparing PC digital sales to console digital sales Its not the whole picture

15. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

They have no solid number and so any amount of sales recorded are relative to the information collection agency's methodology. Also, the initial batch was going to sell no matter what because scalpers will buy the whole inventory to sell to the faithful at markup.

27. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Now suck it up you all the Apple HATERS and TROLLS.....LOL!!!!!! Apple deserves the top spot in this headphone category. Quality triumphs quantity baby...

28. sissy246

Posts: 7121; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

One of the most honest reviewers there is. Here what he has to say about apple pods.

31. sissy246

Posts: 7121; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

It's not about apple earpods, but he does say why he won't review then.

33. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Go away grandma, and take your jealousy over to Samsung articles. Your trolling is pathetic.

34. sissy246

Posts: 7121; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

LMAO you need to change your little boy panties.

35. sissy246

Posts: 7121; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Take you azz over to Apple sites.

2. mahima

Posts: 733; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

congrats can do anything you want... there's so many fans out there to buy whatever you make next remove the camera and make wireless camera its gonna still sell millions

5. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

What's with guys like you assuming that any sale of a Samsung or Apple product is done so based solely on fandom?

37. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Meanwhile nobody buys those s**tty Samsung I wonder why??

3. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

It wouldn't be that way if it wasn't shoved to people by the omission of the humble 3.5mm jack. Most people were forced to buy those expensive stuff because they really didn't have a choice.

6. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Users can also use the adapter that comes with the phone, so there are options. They would have sold just as many had the iPhone 7 came with a 3.5mm jack.

16. s.mrabet

Posts: 147; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

What about charging the phone while listening? Wireless charging is so old and yet not supported

32. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

I'm still amazed that Apple hasn't integrated Wireless charging into their phones. There's room inside every iPhone for a wireless charging coil.

8. torr310

Posts: 1662; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I believe just a marketing article, which is not based on the truth. Just think about how many people you see wearing them.

29. sissy246

Posts: 7121; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I have seen one person so far and did they look dumb. Also how many were returned because people were not happy with them.

9. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3108; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Even if they made a tooth brush it will sell like hot cakes. Effective brainwashing marketing techniques.


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

iSheep would even buy big pile of turd with apple logo on it!

20. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

iBurger coming soon. iSheep will deserve it. More to come: iJuice, iCup, iDish, iBag, iNeedle(?)......


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

I call it bullcr@p! This is just marketing propaganda!

19. cjreyes666

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Been using wireless headphones since the Motorola MOTOROKR S9 back in the day when Motorola was still influencial. Just last this month i deciced to go completetly wireless with the Jabra Sports Elite and so far it has been a great experience. I'm not that surprised Apple has been able to capture so much market with the AirPods, removing the headphone jack and providing an alternative that probably many people wouldn't try out without such move. I know that wireless sound isn't as great as wired, and many people are not able to tell the difference.

21. monoke

Posts: 1162; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Well duh. iusers aren't exactly the type to shop outside their brand or 'ecosystem'. And when they move to the iphone 8, Timmy will also sell them a home button adapter/add on and rest assure, those will sell like hotcakes too!

22. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Apple is the definition of innovation. Apple does the others follow.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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