Apple is expected to continue to dominate the global market, selling more than 100 million real wireless hearing devices by 2020, according to the latest data from PointResearch. In a report released today, Counterpoint said the global market for real wireless hearing devices exceeded expectations, up 53% in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with the same period last year.
Wireless audio equipment sold 51 million units in the quarter, compared with 130 million units for the full year. The U.S. market was the main driver for the quarter, up 76% year-on-year and 35% of the global market. Apple’s AirPods Pro, launched at the end of October, helped the company grow by 44% in the fourth quarter of last year, selling 6m units despite a shortage of supplies. Apple is trying to maintain rapid overall market growth, with its market share falling slightly to 41% month-on-month and 47% for the full year.
Counterpoint predicts that Apple will sell more than 100 million real wireless audio devices by 2020, including AirPods Pros, to maintain its market leadership position. Samsung sold 8 million Galaxy Buds last year, and Samsung released Galaxy Buds Plus products this year, including noise cancellation and other advanced features and designs to beat rivals.
Apple analyst Guo Mingyu was optimistic that the AirPods and AirPods Pro could be affected by the coronavirus outbreak, which could lead to a shortage of supplies, and said in a January investor report that he expected The Chinese company Goertek to start assembling in the first half of this year. AirPods Pro. Adding a second supplier with Luxshare Precision will help improve supply.
Apple is rumoured to be planning to refine its audio wearable strapits line with a high-end in-ear headset. According to Guo, the product being developed at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, Guo did not provide any details about the headsets, saying only that they would support Bluetooth.