Earlier this month Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple's Hearables Captured 50.2% Market Share in Q2 2019 with Staggering Year-over-Year Growth." With the holiday quarter just around the corner, Apple's AirPods will likely dominate hearable sales in the U.S. once again, and the latest analysis backs up that forecast.
A new Counterpoint report begins by stating that "greater democratization of wireless technology and reduction in prices will help wireless hearables become mainstream in the next two-three years. The findings of our Consumer Lens survey reveals that Apple remains the top of the mind for most US consumers for a future purchase.
Apple’s AirPods, a true wireless hearable device, turns out to be the preferred choice for future purchase due to factors like ease of use, comfort & fit, and portability. Further, Apple also edged rivals because true wireless as a category is the preferred choice over wireless earphones, due to factors like better sound quality, portability, and ease of use.
The true wireless hearables reached 27 million units in Q2 2019, growing 56% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) globally. At the end of 2019, the market is expected to reach 120 million units globally. Most of the growth is coming from markets like the US, Europe, and China.
Unlike the smartphone market in the US, which is driven by operator channels, hearable devices spread across multiple sales channels. Online channels dominate the hearable purchase market because of convenience, special promotions, bundle offers, and seasonal discounts."
Apple's H1 AirPods Chip delivers superior, instant AI support when a user says "Hey Siri" followed by a request such as "call Dad," or "how do I get to the Zoo." For the holiday season Apple will be adding the ability for Siri to announce Messages and actually speak the incoming messages as they arrive.
According to Counterpoint's analysis, about 70% of respondents now consider AI an important feature for future hearable purchases, and around 30% of the respondents who are aware of AI features will likely pay more to have this in their next hearable. This indicates a big opportunity for such a feature.
Features like control of music and volume through voice-commands, smart ambient noise cancellation, voice search, hand-free calling are the most common usage preference highlighted by the respondents.