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Apple leads global smart personal audio category as shipments fall – Times of India


Despite continued growth in emerging markets, the overall smart personal audio shipments faced a 3% dip year-over-year (YoY) in the third quarter of 2023 (Q3 2023), reaching 110 million units, a report said. Apple, despite registering nominal decline in share, still leads the market in the category.
Strategic decisions to skip yearly flagship releases and the shift towards TWS contributed to the Q3 decline, said market research firm Canalys in its attest report.
TWS category dominates
True wireless stereo (TWS) earphones remain the king, capturing a 73% share of the market and steadily infiltrating affordable segments. Interestingly, wireless headphones witnessed a resurgence, surpassing wireless earphones for the first time.
“Shipments of wireless headphones surpassed those of wireless earphones for the first time, predominantly due to vendors seeking stronger revenue drivers through wireless headphones and wireless earphones being replaced by TWS,” the research firm noted.
It added that alternative wearable forms, such as air and bone conduction devices, made up less than 2% of shipments in Q3.
Apple leads, homegrown brands rise
Apple retains the top spot with a 21% share as it shipped 23.4 million units in the quarter, followed by Samsung with 9.2 million units shipped and 8% market share. boAt was at the third spot with 6.5 million units shipped and 6% market share, followed by Sony and Xiaomi.
In China, Huawei saw impressive growth – 30% compared to Q3 2022 – by leveraging its strong smartphone presence for cross-selling audio devices.
“In the fiercely competitive Chinese market, vendors are responding to the homogenisation of TWS by looking for new avenues for growth. The exploration of innovative formats and emphasis on sound quality in entry-level wireless headphones contributed to reinvigorating the Chinese market,” said Cynthia Chen, research manager at Canalys.
Canalys predicts that inventory replenishment and holiday season deals are expected to boost shipments in Q4. Canalys also predicts a 3.3% market growth in 2024, fueled by improving economic conditions and anticipated flagship launches from Apple and Samsung.


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