It has been difficult for many companies to continue to provide electronics for end-users due to part shortages in the past couple of years but that has not stopped the continued growth of the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) market worldwide. Counterpoint has released their latest research into the TWS market and it shows some surprising trends.
2021 saw an increase of 24% YoY in unit sales which is not entirely surprising given that the quality of them is improving every year. What is improving is that more people are spending more money on them to begin with — the increase in terms of value increased by 25% which is significant. Even with this growth market analysts expected the growth to be even higher but suspect the pandemic played a role in limiting to growth in sales to this percentage.
Another surprising figure to come out of the research was that despite Apple’s unit sales increasing by 5% YoY its market share dropped from 30.2% to 25.6%. This may well be due to the AirPods 3 being released later in the year but Apple’s growing Chinese market helped it to maintain this figure of over one in four TWS earbuds sold being an Apple-branded set.
Other big players in the TWS market were Samsung who saw a massive growth of 33% YoY with its Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2. Skullcandy was another brand to make a splash with their share increasing to 4% which is significant as it is not a brand you would expect to be the fifth highest-selling TWS brand. In saying that the Skullcandy TWS headphones we’ve tested out were great sounding at an even better price. Skullcandy’s models also made their way into the top 10 list of best-selling models.
The two value segments that saw growth were the $50-$100 and the $200+ segments with Skullcandy, JBL and Xiaomi leading the way in the lower-value segment with, as you would expect, Apple driving the growth in the $200+ segment with a massive 75% share.
Senior Analyst Liz Lee, who leads Counterpoint’s TWS hearables research, said, “The $50-$100 segment grew significantly YoY, as Xiaomi, which had focused on the sub-$50 segment, tried to expand its lineup to the $50-100 range. Further, the competition in the $50-$100 segment intensified, with smartphone OEMs like OPPO, OnePlus and realme pitted against emerging brands like Skullcandy, JLab and Nothing. All this competition resulted in new products offering good quality and more features at reasonable prices and pushing the market growth in 2021.”
Here at EFTM are not surprised to see this growth in TWS sales and given the quality of them continuing to improve while at the same time respective pricing decreasing, we expect the sales growth to continue in 2022. If you are in the market for new headphones TWS earbuds are something you should definitely be looking at with so many great quality earbuds around.