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Despite others gaining, AirPods still remain king in the wireless industry

Apple’s AirPods lost a step since last year, but they still reign supreme.

What you need to know

  • Truly wireless headphones are expected to grow 83% to 238 million units this year.
  • Apple’s AirPods still command 29% of the market.

Truly wireless headphones and smartwatches are continuing to experience fast growth. In a new report, Counterpoint Research believes that the truly wireless headphone industry will grow 83% to 238 million units this year. Senior analyst Liz Lee says that the continued trend from smartphone manufacturers to remove the headphone jack from phones and earbuds from phone boxes is driving the adoption of truly wireless headphones.

“The trend around removing jacks and earphones from devices and boxes is becoming a big driver for TWS segment growth. It also helps that mobile media consumption continues to grow, making TWS the next must-have accessory.”

Senior analyst Sujeong Lim says that the pandemic has caused an increase in consumer’s focus on health and fitness which will continue to drive smartwatch growth.

“The normalization of economies coupled with increased interest in health and fitness will help the smartwatch market grow. We expect low double-digit growth through the medium term – possibly higher if average selling prices decline quickly.”

Apple still leads the truly wireless headphone market with its AirPods lineup. Lim says Apple’s ecosystem, which creates a tight experience between its hardware, software, and services, has kept it in the number one spot.

“Apple’s powerful iOS ecosystem, typically comprised of consumers with larger disposable incomes, has been the main driver for growth – especially in terms of revenues. High-end stalwart Samsung has also performed consistently.”

Just last month Apple released AirPods Max, its first wireless over ear headphones in the AirPods lineup.

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