Apple AirPods not selling so well? Due to millions of people having to tighten their budgets, the market for true wireless earbuds has been in freefall for a while now, and most brands are seeing sizable declines.
If in 2021 the overall market for true wireless earbuds was about 104 million units for the last quarter, in the same period of 2022 it had fallen to about 79.5 million units, a 23 percent decline year on year.
Even though Apple is still the undisputed leader on the TWS market, their market share dropped from 38.9% in Q4 2021 to 35.8% in Q4 2022. In sales figures, that meant going from 40.4 million TWS earbuds shipped to 28.4 million.
Similarly, most big companies also saw huge drops, with Xiaomi declining 49 percent and Samsung 24 percent.
However, there is one company that not only staved off the drops but actually managed to increase its market share and sell more than in 2021.
Surprisingly, it’s Oppo, a brand that’s unfortunately little known in the Western markets, even though their Android phones deserve recognition.
When it comes to earbuds, Oppo had 2.4 million shipments in Q4 2022, an increase of 11% from 2021, when they shipped 2.1 million. Oppo might sell ten times less than Apple but they seem to be climbing the chart fast. In comparison, Samsung had 6 million shipments, but the report from Canalys also counted their Harman subsidiaries in the analysis.
The bet for affordable earbuds seems to have paid off for them.
One of their models, the Oppo Enco 2 earbuds, offer 28 hours battery life, Bluetooth 5.2, AI noise cancellation and Dolby Atmos for the equivalent of $50 in India, and frequently go on sale for even half price. Considering that even the cheap earbuds market dropped off a cliff this year, the fact that Oppo’s share is increasing means they must be doing something right.
Did you try their earbuds? What do you think?
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