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In addition to the global smartphone, tablet, and smartwatch markets, Apple and Samsung are engaged in a fierce battle for the number one spot in worldwide sales of true wireless earbuds as well.
While it certainly doesn’t look like the towering figures of the industry-leading iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods lineups will be surpassed anytime soon, Samsung can definitely be proud of the gains its Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Buds families have made over the last year or so.
Defying the coronavirus pandemic, the chaebol’s TWS (true wireless stereo) earbuds managed to do what Apple’s AirPods could not during the first three months of 2021
, boosting their market share compared to the final quarter of 2020 and closing the gap to second place.
That’s right, Samsung
is not the world’s number two vendor of hearables… yet, chasing Xiaomi while Apple continues to keep everyone at bay with relative ease. That being said, the Cupertino-based tech giant might not be very happy to see its slice of the pie shrink due to “intensified competition and the absence of a recent new model launch.”
Of course, the latter “issue” will be fixed at some point in the not-too-distant future
, when Apple’s market share is likely to start growing again. Until then, Samsung’s strategy of releasing a new pair of AirPods-rivaling buds every six months or so appears to be paying off quite handsomely.
Although Counterpoint Research avoids going into a lot of detail regarding actual Q1 2021 sales numbers for some reason, the Galaxy Buds Pro
are deemed a big success and the older Buds Live
and Buds Plus
models purportedly (and unsurprisingly) managed to retain much of their appeal through “aggressive marketing promotions”, many of which are still available at the time of this writing.
Interestingly, sub-$100 models remain more successful on the whole, despite a “slight recovery” of the $100+ segment, where Apple
holds a crushing 57 percent share, followed by Samsung at 17 percent.
Naturally, most of the best true wireless earbuds
money can buy right now normally go for $100 a pair and up, but a lot of the ultra-affordable AirPods and Galaxy Buds alternatives released of late look pretty sweet on paper as well.
All in all, the entire market is moving forward at a decidedly impressive pace, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that total sales are up 44 percent in Q1 2021.