Apple leads global TWS hearables market in Q4 2020

(IANS) Led by Apple, the global TWS hearables market normalised in Q4 2020, with growth cooling slightly after two quarters of strong sales driven by post-lockdown buying, according to a new report.

According to Counterpoint Research’s latest ‘Global Hearables (TWS) Market Report’, the fourth quarter TWS sales grew 13 percent (on-quarter) and 43 percent (on-year).

In terms of global market share leader there was no big surprise as Apple continued to dominate.

“However, its share steadily declined through the year, shedding 9 percent to end at 27 percent overall during the last quarter,” said Liz Lee, senior analyst.

Lee singled out Samsung as a particularly strong second-half performer.

“In highly competitive and mature markets like Europe, Samsung’s unit sales during the last quarter were notable, notching up a significant 2 percent QoQ share gain. Its Galaxy Buds Live did especially well,” she said in a statement.

In terms of the sub-$100 price band, which was a massive driver of growth through the middle of last year, it has plateaued at around the 55 percent share level for the past two quarters.

Major brands are now planning to release new products with advanced features, giving consumers more options, especially in the over-$100 segment.

“Most anticipated is a new release from Apple � its first in two years � which we expect to be one of the biggest drivers of TWS market growth for 2021,” Lee said.

Strong performance in Asia, particularly China, helped offset flattening growth in key developed markets in Q4 2020.

“We saw an uncharacteristic flattening last quarter in the large markets of North America and Europe. Typically, there is a holiday season sales bump, but this year it was less pronounced on strong buying, both during and post-lockdown,” Lee informed.

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