AirPods Overwhelmingly Dominate Global Wireless Headset Market

AirPods held a disproportionately large share of the global wireless headset market in 2020, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics.

airpods pro in case

With sales of over 300 million units, the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Bluetooth headset sales market grew by almost 90 percent last year. Apple's AirPods own almost half of the entire market, with the rest being made up of a large number of companies with individually small shares.

strategy analytics global wireless headset market vendors

In spite of Apple's dominance, Strategy Analytics notes that its lead is shrinking as competition intensifies:

"Apple maintained a commanding lead in the TWS segment in 2020, but its commanding share is shrinking as competition intensifies. Strong competition is expected from Xiaomi, Samsung, and Huawei in 2021," said Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics. "The TWS headset market is already hugely overcrowded and despite a strong sales outlook, there will inevitably be consolidation in the years ahead."

It is expected that there is still "plenty of potential in the broader Bluetooth headset market," due to low penetration and an install base that remains small. According to Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, "less than one in ten people own a Bluetooth headset globally, so there is still significant room for growth." In addition to this, as vendors move away from bundling wired headsets with new smartphones, Strategy Analytics foresees considerable growth potential in the market.

Top Rated Comments

djcerla Avatar
26 months ago

McDonald's sells more hamburgers than any other restaurant. Does that make them the best product too?
AirPods happen to be the best product, the most popular and a very sought after one, which translates in an almost unbelievable resale value. Your analogy is out of place.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iZac Avatar
26 months ago
And now I have a pair of B&O E5 and AirPods with dead batteries, useful to neither man nor beast. while I have wired sets of B&O H6, form2 and some cheap Grados which still work perfectly. My new MW60s will be used in wired mode for as long as humanly possible.

Wake up, Soylent Green is People!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nburwell Avatar
26 months ago
Are we really surprised by this though?

Even still during the pandemic when I go grocery shopping, I see a ton of AirPods/Pro's in the wild.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsplusmacs Avatar
26 months ago
and just like the iPhone, i would bet apple is taking 80 to 90 cents out of every dollar in this market.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
otternonsense Avatar
26 months ago
With good reason. The AirPods Pro might be the most versatile and handy true wireless earbuds out there. And after the Spatial Audio update they got a noticeable bump in sound quality.

PS. I also have the Sennheiser Momentum TW2 and even though they destroy the APP in sound quality it's cumbersome to switch modes and the call quality is totally off, so I default back to the APP.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mrjetsondc Avatar
26 months ago
I waited a long time to buy a AirPods 2. Got them for 115 bucks on black Friday 2020. Brand new.
They are the greatest earbuds I’ve owned.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Pay Later Quick Green Feature

Apple Pay Later Launching 'Soon'

Thursday February 2, 2023 2:10 pm PST by
The Apple Pay Later service that Apple has in the works is set to launch "soon," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC ahead of today's earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2023. Cook said that Apple employees are beta testing the Apple Pay Later feature, which will help Apple boost services revenue. "It will be launching soon," Cook said. Apple Pay Later was first previewed at the...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...