Apple and... Apple are the world's top two true wireless earbuds vendors in terms of revenue

Apple and... Apple are the world's top two true wireless earbuds vendors in terms of revenue
Apple may have slipped from second place in global smartphone shipments, looking unlikely to surpass Huawei anytime soon despite the latter's Western woes, but when it comes to tablets, smartwatches, and true wireless earbuds, the Cupertino-based tech giant still has no rival in terms of both sales volume and revenue.

According to the latest report published by Counterpoint Research, Apple accounted for a dominant 45 percent share of the thriving "hearables" market in Q3 2019, which naturally crushed the numbers of the industry's silver and bronze medalists. We're talking a humble 9 percent piece of the pie for Xiaomi, and obviously, an even smaller 6 percent score for Samsung in third place.

Given no less than 33 million "true wireless hearables" were shipped in total around the world between July and September, that means Apple sold close to 15 million units, while Xiaomi and Samsung trailed far behind with roughly 3 and 2 million tallies respectively. Interestingly, both Apple and Samsung lost a few percentage points in share compared to Q2 2019, although actual AirPods shipments posted a modest sequential increase from around 14.3 million units in the April - June timeframe.


It's important to highlight Apple's numbers exclude sales made by subsidiary Beats, which were apparently enough to propel the latter brand to fifth place overall in the global vendor chart of Q3 as the Powerbeats Pro had their first full quarter on the market. What's even more remarkable is that Apple and Beats were ranked first and second in terms of revenue generated by their true wireless earbuds, with Samsung following in third place and Xiaomi unsurprisingly ranked much lower due to the low price of the company's main AirPods alternatives.

Looking ahead, the overall market is expected to grow even further after high-profile new releases from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and various other major companies, as well as year-end promotions including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All in all, Counterpoint forecasts 2019 shipments will reach around 120 million units, and although Apple should easily retain its top spot in the vendor rankings, increasing competition could continue to negatively impact the leader's market share.

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19 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 31594; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple nailed it with the AirPods, no denying that.

2. dnomadic

Posts: 441; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I would disagree partially... they did nail the marketing and operations. They made it seem Air Pods were the best headphones for your iPhone. I like mine, don’t love them. They aren’t great for action, audio is average, and the design is weird (though now iconic). They marketed these things perfectly and they are reaping the labor of their Work in creating an Apple ecosystem

6. midan

Posts: 3112; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"They made it seem Air Pods were the best headphones for your iPhone. " But they are (from the wireless)? especially for your IPHONE and i'm not talking about sound wise, i'm talking about overall experience and integration with iOS which everyone is talking about. Audio is good enough for most and the very easy pairing and effortless use made them very popular, it's not marketing, just like with other Apple products, happy satisfied users share their experience and more and more want them too.

9. Vancetastic

Posts: 1752; Member since: May 17, 2017

I was with you until "it's not marketing". At least 90 percent of my friends and family use iPhones and other Apple products. Literally zero percent of them are talking about Airpods or sharing their experiences. People in the real world simply don't do that.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31594; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said. Other than here, I don't do it either.

17. mackan84

Posts: 631; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I was never interested in getting expensive AirPods from the get go, but then the internet changed my mind. And when I got stuck and pulled my wired headphones out of my ears for the 1500th time, I threw them on the floor, stomped them, chew off the cord and burnt them. My favorite podcast did talk greatly about them during that time too, and they were never paid by Apple tho. Now there is good wireless headphones everywhere. Apple I still think have the best overall package for iPhone, ok sound quality, good mics, small charging case and easy use. And Apple has this clever way of marketing, a iconic design which is easy to make fun of, let the memes do its job, then suddenly you recognize the brand on the streets. Then research and find out that these might have something special and voila another buyer.

5. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1849; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

The first gen airpods no... But these airpod pro's are the truth! Smaller footprint, more features, can fit almost every ear type, better sound, and taking phone calls on them are the truth. People think I'm talking on my handset and they hear minimal background noise in noisy environments. Well done

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31594; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I was actually talking about the Pro lol, but as a whole, AirPods are a runaway success.

16. shay90

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 04, 2016

Same here, the AirPods Pro are great.

3. tbreezy

Posts: 165; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Fantastic job Apple. Owning profits in everything from Smartphones, Tablets, Hearables, Wearables etc due to all of them being top in each category in terms of Support, Ecosystem and performance.

4. whatev

Posts: 2410; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Congratulations to apple and apple, they deserve it!

7. shiv179

Posts: 190; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Given the disposable nature of the Airpods, it is no surprise Apple is making $$$

8. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

I love my beats pro. Taking a call on these things is better experience than using the handset itself. ANC would definitely be a welcome addition, don’t like the outside noise intrusion.

10. michaelny2001

Posts: 345; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

well yeah, for obvious reasons. If you have an iphone chances are you'll want to stick to apply headphones and everything that apple makes. there is a super small minority buying Son y or Jabra, etc for their iphones. they would just not feel right about it. Whereas Android people have all of these options. \ Apple did it right, drilled it in people's heads that Iphone is a premium phone and that they should only buy iphone and everything apple. great marketing mixed with luck. luck because for those of you who know locking your product and be exclusive can backfire. remember beta max from Sony? only they made it while VHS has widespread. we all know what happened.

12. VariableCheapskate

Posts: 196; Member since: May 29, 2019

I guess the population of audiophiles are dwindling?

13. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 61; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

I'm moving over to Huwaei Freebuds 3 w/ noise cancellation. Airpods never worked great on an Android (missing functions).

18. japkoslav

Posts: 1552; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Hell YEAH! QCY is in the graph!

19. JMartin22

Posts: 2387; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I love my Pros, it’s easy to see why they’re doing so well in market share when the product is designed and optimized for the second most used OS in the world. They should target Android users in the high end segment though with the AirPods and develop an app on the Play Store that enables noise cancellation and transparency mode

20. japkoslav

Posts: 1552; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Why? ..

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