Canalys’ latest research shows that global smart personal audio shipments fell 3% year on year to 110 million units in the third quarter of 2023, with developed regions struggling while emerging regions grew strongly. Apple continues to dominate the market

TWS (true wireless stereo) made up 73% of global personal audio shipments in the third quarter “as they continue to penetrate affordable mass-market segments,” reports Canalys. Shipments of wireless headphones surpassed those of wireless earphones for the first time, predominantly due to vendors seeking stronger revenue drivers through wireless headphones and wireless earphones being replaced by TWS, adds the research group. 

Alternative wearable forms, such as air and bone conduction devices, made up less than 2% of shipments in quarter three. Despite being niche, “these devices highlight ongoing form factor innovation in search of profit and differentiation in a saturated market,” says Canalys.

As of quarter three, Apple had 21% of the global smart personal audio shipments market based on sales of 23.4 million AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPod Max units. That’s down 7% from the third quarter of 2022 when Apple has sales of 25.3 million and 22% market share. However, things should improve in this quarter and 2024.

“We expect growth to return in quarter four, driven by replenishing inventories and holiday shopping season deals,” says Canalys Analyst Jack Leathem. “Looking to 2024, feature-based innovation will help boost shipments. Vendors will prioritize increased device capabilities, such as spatial audio, hearing enhancements and Bluetooth LE, to match product developments from their competitors.”

He adds that improving economic conditions and expected flagship portfolio launches from Apple and Samsung should further boost the market in 2024. Canalys estimates that total shipments for 2024 will be 3.3% higher than in 2023. 

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today