Second generation Apple AirPods had weaker than expected sales in Q1

Second generation Apple AirPods had weaker than expected sales in Q1
Apple's AirPods continue to dominate the true wireless "hearables" category with a larger than 50% market share. However, the second generation of the extremely popular accessory did not add to Apple's already huge share of this market. According to the information made public by Counterpoint Research (via 9to5Mac), despite launching the latest version of its AirPods during the quarter, "Apple's market share remained at the same level seen in the last quarter, failing to grow in spite of the launch of its second generation AirPods." Of course, the new AirPods weren't announced by the tech giant until March 20th, nearly at the end of the three-month period.

The second generation AirPods replaced the W1 chip employed on the original version with an H1 chip for improved Bluetooth connectivity. It also lowered the strain on the battery, allowing Apple to promise 50% longer "talk time," and allows users to switch between devices (like the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch) while listening to music up to two times faster. And Siri can now be summoned by saying "Hey Siri." The update also added a new carrying case for the AirPods that will charge wirelessly. If the upcoming 2019 iPhone models feature reverse wireless charging as rumored, the new case will be able to sit on the back of one of the new units and power up. Of course, this will come at the expense of the battery inside the host iPhone.

Counterpoint noted that thanks to sales promotions run to clear out inventory, sales of the first-gen AirPods were higher than expected during the quarter. Sales of the second generation AirPods were weaker than expected. Some of that could be due to confusion among consumers, many of whom expected the new buds to be water-resistant and feature a new grip to keep them firmly planted in users' ears. Those rumors and others about some sort of health care feature for the accessory and a new Black color option were well publicized prior to the unveiling of the new version. As it turns out, these are features that we will probably see when the third generation AirPods come out later this year. Most likely, many consumers are holding off on purchasing the new AirPods and are awaiting the next version of the device.

Samsung's Galaxy Buds help put Samsung in second place for the first time


The graphs released by Counterpoint didn't include any actual percentages, but we can see from the graphs that Apple's AirPods have a huge lead over the second place Samsung Galaxy Buds. Samsung's wireless "hearables" were launched earlier this year and were handed out as a bonus to those purchasing a phone from the Galaxy S10 line. That promotion, by the way, is back until June 30th. The Galaxy Buds replaced the Gear IconX in Sammy's lineup and helped the company leap over Jabra to take second place for the first time. The Jabra Elite Active 65t was third.

Apple dominates the true wireless hearable market thanks to the AirPods

Apple dominates the true wireless hearable market thanks to the AirPods


Later this year, we should see two more heavyweights enter the market. Both Amazon and Microsoft are planning to release their own wireless Bluetooth earbuds this year. The former says that its device will be equipped with Alexa and will sound better and cost less than Apple's AirPods. Microsoft's Surface Buds will include Cortana integration.

During the first quarter of this year, Counterpoint says that the size of what it calls the "true wireless hearables" market was 17.5 million units. That is a 40% gain sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2018. That is impressive because Q4 of 2018 included the holiday shopping season.

Apple had a huge slice of the true wireless hearables market in Q1

Apple had a huge slice of the true wireless hearables market in Q1

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20 Comments

1. OneLove123

Posts: 849; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Cause, it's still ugly. I will not put anything that looks like a q-tip in my ears.

2. Alcyone

Posts: 240; Member since: May 10, 2018

I had a more feminine item in mind. My ears dont bleed enough.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 6895; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The real truth is Apple pushes it hype propaganda train up and say these are the best for our iPhones. Duh, Apple has a history making features with software that only support Apple's ecosystem, and platforms. Yet Apple doesn't give third parties the access or software that is need for better integration into Apple's hardware platforms, like their iPhones. I really hope the EU, DOJ, and others win against Apples monopolistic ways.

10. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

The reason is security and privacy. Apple having little marketshare is monopolistic? Maybe app developers and third party accessory makers loves apple because they can make a decent profit.

9. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Butthurt that Airpods are selling well even with a high price tag. Your Samsung Galaxy Buds AREN’T SELLING, even though they’re number 2, you know why, they’re given FREE in purchasing Galaxies.

20. Icent55

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 02, 2017

Hey sh¿t up your dirty mouth...what free....galaxy buds promotion was for only those who pre ordered the s10series in the US...which lasted for 3weeks...so wtf are u talking about. Are pained that it sounds better than your aircrap yet cost less?....GTFOH

4. jonartpop

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 25, 2012

The sound quality is just as bad as Airpods 1 & there is no any significant improvements. Like seriously disappointing. Galaxy Earbuds offer everything that Airpods don‘t have except the battery quality but 6 hours per charge is also great. I really hope Samsung would put more supports for iPhone Users on their Galaxy Buds yet so far it‘s been a great experience using an iPhone & Galaxy Buds.

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The main issue I have with AirPods is the batteries degrades FAR too quickly After only 1-2 years the battery life is down to only 2-3 hours At least the Galaxy Buds' batteries are replaceable And also poor sound quality/lack of isolation

5. lyndon420

Posts: 6517; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Once the batteries in the first generation start degrading enough the sales will probably pick up.

6. Feanor

Posts: 1327; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

This is, together with the Apple Watch, the most overrated product Apple makes. It's really behind competition, average sound, lack of active noise cancellation, un-ergonomic hilarious design but hey... This is proof that whatever with an Apple badge just sells.

8. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

I think people realized they sound like carp and didnt recommend them to others. They sounds exactly like the cheap wired ones included in the box. Test have shown that the high and mid were slightly improved over the wired versions. They probably cost Apple $10 to make vs the $5 inbox ones.

11. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Exactly apple is really good selling their products despite of prices. But the question is why do people still buy apple’s overpriced products? Because they have money and they trust apple that their products is always superior than any android knock offs. Galaxy buds are given free to new galaxies. Apple selling airpods while Samsung giving free galaxy buds means something wrong with Samsung inferior products. They need to add more freebies to sell and spent more ads to market.

13. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Awwww Don't be mad Apple doesn't give its fans Sh!t.

15. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Giving a freebie isnt a bad thing. The Galaxy Buds were brand new when the S9 was released, and they were given only to early adopters of the phone. They have been selling very well even with and without that promo. But here, they gave wireless headphones, even though they include high quality ones in the box. So you get 2 pair of high quality listening devices that ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE AND ARE BETTER THAN THE ONES YOU PAY FOR FROM APPLE. Dude you are a complete loser and troll. You cheerleading Apple selling you cheap overpriced garbage vs Samsung giving away high quality stuff? What fool does this?

19. iushnt

Posts: 3062; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Giving free is something good on Samsung’s part. Why should we have a complain there?

12. midan

Posts: 2585; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

If they sound same as wired it just proves that wireless doesn’t mean worse quality. No wonder they sell so well! No awkward wires and still getting that same quality which you been listening years, nice!

16. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Only Apples wired and wireless headphones sound the same. They are both low quality which has been proven by real audio companies. Samsung after buying Harmon Kardon, the largest audio brand on the planet, I cludes better high quality headphones in the box and now have even better sounding wireless buds. For me, the Galaxy Buds dont sound as good as the Icon X as far as the bass and lows, but because the buds have less features vs the Icon X, I get longer battery life which is better for me. Both sound way better that Apple garbage, regardless of sales. You fools always try to use sales as some metric of quality. Again, a Ferrari sells in less numbered than anything by any brand of car regardless of if they are a luxury brand or not. Would you are argue that just because Ferrari sells less cars than pretty much anyone else, that their car is inferior? So why do you do it with Apple products? Even the iPod was not superior to many existing music players. Other music players played more than just MP3. Apple just hyped the cool ess if their products because yes they are cool. But certainly not the best option. They never have been and never will be. Apple knows this and that is why they sell 3 year old products at top dollar. 3 year old hardware is cheap and when you sell.it for 5 times what you paid or more, results in high profit.

17. midan

Posts: 2585; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

”Even the iPod was not superior to many existing music players. Other music players played more than just MP3.” This is best example to show that you just doesn’t understand. It’s not about what does more, it’s about what people actually LIKE to USE. Clearly concept which doesn’t fit into your brain. In the end usability matters most, it’s the thing you feel. That’s why Apple products are so popular and going to be for many many years. If people would think like you NOKIA would be number one today, it’s the best example of the fact that usability is all what matters. Nokia phones had everything, but usability was just horrible.

18. jonartpop

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 25, 2012

This is so true lol

14. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I have the latest Samsung Earbuds, Bose, and quite recently the 2nd gen AirPods with wireless charging. I switch between the 3 when situation needs. I have to admit AirPods are ugly with the white shaft sticking out. I have placed a matte black skin over them, but function wise, they work comfortably, with very clear microphone pickup during calls.

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