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Global TWS sales grow 44% YoY in Q1 2021: Counterpoint report

Apple led the global TWS market but saw its market share dip in the first quarter of the year. Samsung managed to improve its market share and narrowed the gap with Xiaomi for the second spot.

Apple AirPods Pro Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro (Apple)

The global TWS hearables market sustained its growth trend in the first quarter of 2021 despite the pandemic-triggered economic fall, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Hearables (TWS) Market Report. The TWS sales jumped 44% year-over-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2021. China recorded the highest YoY growth, while North America occupied the largest market share.

Brands-wise, Apple dominated the TWS market, but its market share suffered a dip due to increased competition and the lack of a new model in recent months. Xiaomi, the second-largest brand in the segment, also saw its share decline compared to the previous quarter. Samsung, however, improved its share quarter-over-quarter and narrowed the gap with the brand at the second position.

Within the TWS market, the over-$100 ( 7,300 approx.) segment continued to saw a decline through the last year as customers preferred budget and mid-range devices. The segment’s share saw a recovery in the fourth quarter of 2020, followed by a 46% share in Q1 2021. Analysts believe the trend indicates that the market is headed towards domination of the budget and mid-range segment.

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“Now is the time for companies to prepare for the change in consumer demand trends as vaccinations are expected to help consumer sentiment improve further in the second half of the year,” Counterpoint’s Senior Analyst Liz Lee said in a note.

Global TWS market share
Global TWS market share (Counterpoint)

In the over-$100 segment, Apple led the market with a 57% market share. Samsung grabbed the second spot but with a distant 17% market share.

In the over-$100 segment, Apple led the market with a 57% market share. Samsung grabbed the second spot but with a distant 17% market share.

In the sub-$100 segment, the total share of the top 10 brands, including Xiaomi, fell due to the diversification of industry participants and intensifying competition, noted the report.|#+|

On the Q1 2021 performance of Samsung, Lee remarked, “In highly competitive markets like Asia and Europe, Samsung achieved a double-digit share with good performance of all the models. Samsung successfully introduced the Galaxy Buds Pro, timed to connect with the launch of the Galaxy S21 in January. The company also pushed the sales of earlier models like the Galaxy Buds Live and Plus through aggressive marketing promotions.”

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