TWS headset competition status: Apple declines, third-party brands rise

The new crown pneumonia epidemic has had an impact on the demand for many consumer electronics, but TWS headsets do not seem to be affected much. In 2020, the TWS headset market is still in a stage of rapid development, and shipments have the opportunity to exceed 230 million pairs, with an annual growth rate of 78%. If you look at the global smartphone shipments in 2019, the current penetration rate of TWS headsets is only about 17%, indicating that the industry’s future market growth space is still very broad.

Source: Counterpoint

Apple’s market share begins to decline

Judging from the competitive landscape of various brands, Apple’s Airpods still ranks first in the world in terms of shipments, which clearly has a dominant advantage.
Although Apple said this year that its AirPods series sales are expected to increase by one-third to 82 million pairs, in this wireless Bluetooth headset (TWS) market contending with hundreds of sources, Apple’s AirPods leading position still shows signs of a slight decline.

According to data from Counterpoint Research, Apple’s Bluetooth headset AirPods not only opened up the wireless Bluetooth headset market after the advent, but also scored a 50% market share in 2019. Apple also predicts that AirPods will grow from 61 million pairs to 8,200 this year. Million.

However, competitors in the blue ocean market are also coming fiercely. After Xiaomi launched the Bluetooth headset, with the price advantage, Xiaomi continued to swallow Apple’s original market share, as shown by Counterpoint Research data in the following figure, as of the second quarter of this year, Apple’s market Accounted for has been swallowed to 35% (the data was 41% in the first quarter), of which Xiaomi market accounted for 10%, Samsung also got 6%.

Market share of wireless Bluetooth headset market in Q2 2020 (Photo: Bloomberg)

In terms of performance and price, Apple has become the benchmark pursued by its successors. Many brands not only have price advantages, but have also made differentiation.
In addition, for Android users, the shortcomings of AirPods exclusive to iPhone functions that cannot be used have made the Android user market potential, and features such as price and functionality have also become the main purchase motivation.

In response to market competition, Counterpoint analyst Liz Lee said: “Considering that Samsung has stepped up its investment in wireless Bluetooth headsets and the newly launched Buds Live has responded enthusiastically, Samsung is expected to narrow the gap with Apple. It is expected in the second half of the year. The two brands will be more competitive.”

It is understood that Samsung is expanding its Bluetooth headset product line, and it is expected that sales of wireless Bluetooth headsets will more than double this year, from 8 million to 17 million.

TWS headset penetration rate accelerated

Under the hot sale of Airpods, well-known mobile phone manufacturers such as Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo, and Samsung have joined the battle. On the one hand, the Android camp drives the rapid growth of TWS headset products through the advantage of smartphone shipments. On the other hand, the Android camp TWS headset products cover multiple categories such as low, medium, and high, and accelerate the penetration rate of TWS headsets.

According to IDC data, in 2019, the shipment volume of the Android camp in the global smart phone market is about 1.18 billion units, reflecting that the market’s potential TWS headset business opportunities are more than 6 times that of Apple’s smart phones.

According to data from Zhiyan Consulting, in the current global TWS headset market, the high-end market with a unit price of more than US$100 is dominated by Apple and Samsung, with market share of 70% and 7%, respectively, while the middle and low-end markets with a unit price of less than US$100 The leader is Xiaomi, with a market share of 19%.

Source: Zhiyan Consulting

The rise of third-party brands

However, in addition to mobile phone brands vying to launch their own TWS headsets, the market position of third-party brands is gradually improving. According to the statistics of Rising Sun Big Data, among the top 10 global TWS headset brands in June 2020, third-party brand factories occupy 5 seats.

From the perspective of brands, the top five shipments in June were Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei and OPPO, which accounted for 38% of the total; the top ten brand shipments accounted for 51% of the total.

Although there is still a gap in the number of shipments compared with the leading manufacturers of the brand, with the excellent product cost performance, the shipments of third-party brand TWS headset products in the middle and low-end markets are growing rapidly, and the market share is also expanding. .