Apple's AirPods are by far the world's most popular 'hearables', followed by Samsung's Galaxy Buds

Apple's AirPods are by far the world's most popular 'hearables', followed by Samsung's Galaxy Buds
Apple might be struggling to keep up with Samsung and Huawei's global smartphone volumes, even as the latter begins to feel the impact of Trump's trade war with China, but at the same time, the Cupertino-based tech giant is at the top of the sales charts in no less than three other industries. iPads, Apple Watches, and AirPods are clearly dominating the world's tablet, smartwatch, and hearable markets respectively, according to the latest reports compiled by research firms such as the International Data Corporation.

Of course, smartwatches and so-called "hearables" are often included in the larger wearable device industry, along with activity trackers, and unsurprisingly, Apple was found to tower above the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei during Q1 2019 in that market as well. To be clear, the IDC also defines hearables as earworn devices, aka headphones that can do more than just play music. 

We're talking the likes of Apple's AirPods and Samsung's Galaxy Buds, which means devices must operate wirelessly and perform advanced tasks like interact with a voice assistant or monitor the wearer's health to be considered hearables. That said, you shouldn't be too surprised to see Apple command this market with an astounding 50.2 percent share of worldwide Q2 2019 sales.


Incredibly enough, the company's slice of the pie was even larger back between April and June 2018, although its actual shipment figures have more than tripled since then, surging from 5 to 15.9 million units. In addition to this year's refreshed AirPods, the latest Beats-branded wireless earbuds also contributed to this staggering growth.

In second place, Samsung held on to its 10.2 percent market share while boosting sales from under a million units during Q2 2018 to 3.3 mil now. Of course, "sales" can be considered a figure of speech in the case of the Galaxy Buds, which proved popular mostly as a gift for Galaxy S10 buyers. Then again, Samsung also owns JBL, which makes a number of attractive and often affordable hearables.

In third place, Xiaomi relied pretty much exclusively on domestic sales of products like the AirDots to exceed 2 million units in total, while Bose and Jabra improved their numbers to rank fourth and fifth respectively thanks to the likes of the SoundSport Free and Elite Active 65t

All in all, a whopping 31.8 million hearables were shipped around the world in the April - June 2019 timeframe, accounting for almost half of the wearables market and thus beating both smartwatches and fitness bands. 



1. Pcworld1976

Posts: 172; Member since: Sep 18, 2018

I'm going to buy the new Sony junk I don't buy

12. Georgio

Posts: 258; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Right. are buying junk.

2. midan

Posts: 3001; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

That growth for Apple is HUGE!

3. surethom

Posts: 1718; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Much prefer the Open ear design of the Airpods, if they just had a rubber coating & worked better with Android I would get some as well. If Google pulled its finger out & make true wireless Pixel Buds 2, I would prefer that design.

4. Feanor

Posts: 1389; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I try always to be fair and objective with my comments but when it comes to the Airpods (and the Apple Watch) I just cannot control it; these are real junk that sell only because of their badge. Unergonomic, ugly design, mediocre sound, price level where others offer even digital noise cancelling. So stupid.

14. mackan84

Posts: 553; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Even unbox therapy admits he loves AirPods because they sit so well in his ears. They breathe and he doesn’t even notice them. The sound quality is better then Galaxy buds, doesn’t have that bass many likes but that is cuz of lack in rubber. Apple Watch is expensive but offered features like fall detection and EKG when no one else did.

6. Vancetastic

Posts: 1567; Member since: May 17, 2017

I absolutely refuse to have a conversation with anyone wearing those things. I don't understand why they don't take them out to talk! Rude.

7. JCASS889

Posts: 564; Member since: May 18, 2018

Its because they want you to know they are using them, how else would they get a sense of pride if you don't know about their apple products.

8. maherk

Posts: 6953; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

As usual, people don't do their own homework and buy based on brand names. I tried both, but as an android user, I looked mostly at the Galaxy Buds, since buds from other known brands that are better are hard to find and much more expensive here, but I didn't find the sound quality to be as good as I hoped it would. So I started looking at other options from online stores that deliver to my country, and I found the 1more TWS, I was skeptical about what they were promising, until I watched and read a lot of the reviews about these badboys, and it's the best 66 dollars I have ever spent. Rich sound stage, deep base, fantastic battery life, and great build quality. The only con I could think of, is that it still uses micro usb, but it's not a major con when you consider the price.

15. Vancetastic

Posts: 1567; Member since: May 17, 2017

But do they "impress" other people?

9. Demo-jay

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 13, 2018

Galaxy buds are free right? I mean they come with every phone as a freebie right?

11. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

Sgodsell must be proud with his galaxy buds making top 2 for bundling it with galaxies.

13. JamesDiman

Posts: 14; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

The real question is how many of those 15.9 million shipments in 2019 are replacements? It costs $69 to replace one. And if you need both, well then you are buying a new set, again. Same with iPhone shipments, how many are replaced due to them being stolen or cracked and unusable? That is why I don't care about how much Apple sells. If they could show new vs replacement, then that would be a true value of market.

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