According to industry analyst and NPD’s executive director Ben Arnold, Apple’s AirPods sales may not be as impressive as some early numbers had suggested.
As opposed to previous data from online shopping analyst Slice Intelligence, which indicated that Apple had taken a 26% share of wireless headphone sales last month, NPD’s December 2016 Weekly Retail Tracking Service data claims AirPods only have a 2-3% share in the wireless headphones market (via CNET).
“Apple being able to capture 2 percent of the market in units and 3 percent in dollars with one product in its debut month is significant, given how big the headphone market is,” Arnold told the source.
He added that the Bluetooth headphone market grew nearly 51% over the last year, so the fact that Beats was able to maintain share and its position in the market, suggests that its sales grew as fast as the market did. Apple will nonetheless continue to gain market share with the AirPods, since the current data only reflects two weeks of AirPods sales.
Below are some highlights from NPD’s report:
- Beats had a 25 percent share (unit sales) and a 46 percent share (dollar sales)
- Apple had a 2 percent share (unit sales) and 3 percent share (dollar sales)
- Bose had 8 percent (unit sales) and 19 percent (dollar sales
- LG had 10 percent (unit sales) and 7 percent (dollar sales) with Sony at 7 percent (unit sales) and 6 percent (dollar sales)
- Plantronics and Jaybird were at around 2 percent unit sales each but Apple is already neck-and-neck with them after only one partial month of sales
Apple and Beats have both declined to issue a statement on the matter.
Regardless, AirPods stock has been an issue as they are sold out at Apple Stores worldwide, so it’s tough to say what marketshare really is given early sales of initial stock.
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