AirPods Pro 2 sales see Apple grow its TWS market share by 34%

Strong AirPods Pro 2 sales played a major role in Apple substantially increasing its share of the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) market, according to a new market intelligence report.

Apple substantially grew its already-strong lead over the rest of the market during Q3, as second-placed Samsung saw its Galaxy Buds shipments fall by 25%…

Canalys opened today’s report by saying that the TWS market as a whole grew by 6%, while indicating that smart speakers declined in popularity.

According to the latest Canalys estimates, the global smart personal audio market suffered its second consecutive decline in Q3 2022, with shipments down 4% to 113.6 million units. TWS remained the only category to show an increase, with 6% growth to 76.9 million units in the quarter.

The company said that Apple further increased its market share, at the expense of Samsung and Xiaomi.

Apple (including Beats) defended its leadership position with the second-generation AirPods Pro launch, which led to a 34% increase in shipments and a 31% market share. Samsung (including Harman subsidiaries) took second place, but its shipments fell 15% despite its new Galaxy Buds2 Pro launch.

AirPods Pro 2 sales key to Apple’s growth

Key Apple findings were:

  • Shipments up from 17.8M units in Q3 2021 to 23.8M in Q3 2022
  • Annual TWS growth hit 34%
  • Market share up from 24.6% to 30.9%

Apple’s market share was already twice that of Samsung, and is now 2.5 times higher.

Counterpoint said that premium audio brands struggled to maintain their positions, and had to cut prices to do so.

In Q3 2022, audio-centric brands, such as Sony, Jabra and JBL (under Samsung’s Harman subsidiaries), used aggressive discounting across channels to sustain shipment levels, significantly weakening the market performance of value-for-money brands. But these brands’ market value increases are relatively flat.

Vendor Q3 2022 shipments (million) Q3 2022
market share
Q3 2021
shipments (million)
Q3 2021
market share
Apple* 23.8 30.9% 17.8 24.6% +34%
Samsung* 7.4 9.6% 8.7 12.0% -15%
boAt 4.1 5.4% 2.8 3.8% +50%
Xiaomi 3.4 4.4% 4.9 6.8% -31%
Skullcandy 2.6 3.3% 2.7 3.7% -4%
Others 35.6 46.4% 35.3 49.1% +1%
Total 76.9 100.0% 72.2 100.0% +6%

The asterisks note that Apple includes its Beats brand, and Samsung includes its Harman subsidiary.

In our detailed review of the AirPods Pro 2, we noted that while the design was almost unchanged, the performance and feature improvements are substantial.

  • Improved active noise-cancellation
  • Transparency mode that now includes an adaptive option
  • Volume control with swipe gestures on earbud stems
  • Battery life increased from four hours to six hours
  • Improved battery life for the earbuds extends total listening time to 30 hours.
  • Case charging adds Apple Watch charger support.
  • Case now includes U1 chip like AirTags.
  • Built-in speaker for alert tones and pinging from Find My app
  • Built-in lanyard loop on the case (lanyard sold separately)

Apple looks set to further increase its lead this quarter, with the AirPods Pro 2 likely to prove one of the most popular holiday gifts.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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