When Apple launched its incredibly popular AirPods, it practically invented a new market: true wireless earbuds. Since it was basically first in the game to create such a genre-defining device, it’s not surprising at all that it completely dominates the industry.
According to data supplied by Strategy Analytics (via Yonhap News Agency), Apple owns 54.4% of the entire true wireless earbuds market. In 2019 alone, it shipped an absolutely bonkers 58.7 million AirPods.
For the record, the best-selling Android smartphone of all time is the Samsung Galaxy S3, which shipped 70 million units over its entire lifetime. That puts that 58.7 million shipments in just one year number into some serious perspective.
Speaking of Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant is currently in third place in the true wireless earbuds market. It shipped 7.4 million units of its only truly wireless headphones product, the Samsung Galaxy Buds. That earned it a market share of 6.9%.
Interestingly, the company in second place right above Samsung is Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. It shipped 9.1 million true wireless earbuds in 2019, earning it an 8.5% market share.
Xiaomi’s success in the market is likely due to the sheer number of wireless earbuds it sells, many of which are pretty much clones of AirPods. Xiaomi’s devices are usually also much cheaper than the competition’s.
We expect Samsung to launch the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus in February alongside the Samsung Galaxy S20 family of flagship smartphones. With more products on the market, it’s very possible Samsung could overtake Xiaomi to grab that second-place slot. However, any company hoping to knock Apple off the throne in the true wireless earbuds market has its work cut out for it.
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