Apple expected to sell more than 100M true wireless hearable units in 2020

AirPods Pro and Beats Solo Pro
AirPods Pro and Beats Solo Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Counterpoint Research says it expects Apple to sell more than 100M units of true wireless hearables in 2020.
  • The global market beat expectations in Q4 2019, growing 53% compared to the previous quarter.
  • Apple held a 70% market share in the $100+ range in the quarter.

Counterpoint Research expects Apple to sell more than 100M true wireless hearables in 2020, maintaining a "comfortable lead" in the market.

In a newly published report today, Counterpoint revealed that the market had exceeded growth expectations for Q4 of 2019:

The global market size for true wireless hearables beat expectations, growing 53% QoQ in 4Q19, topping 51m units for the quarter and 130m units for the full year, according to Counterpoint Research's latest Hearables Market Tracker. The US was the main driver for the quarter, growing 76% QoQ and accounting for 35% of the global market on the back of seasonal promotions and Apple's new model launchThe launch of Apple's new AirPods Pro model in late October helped the company record steady 44% growth in 4Q19, with 6m units sold despite supply shortages. Apple's market share fell slightly to 41% QoQ as it attempted to keep up with swift overall market growth; market share for the full year reached 47% .

According to their estimates, Apple accounted for around 40% of hearables shipments in the quarter but raked in 62% of the revenue. The figures are much the same for the whole year, Apple accounted for 47% of shipments, and 62% of revenue.

The $100+ segment is dominated by Apple, Samsung, and Jabra. The sector grew 66% in the quarter, and Apple holds a 70% market share.

Looking ahead, Senior Analyst Liz Lee said:

"We expect Apple to sell more than 100m true wireless hearables in 2020, including AirPods Pros, to maintain their comfortable lead in the market... The real competition will be for second place, especially in the premium market; Samsung, which sold 8m Galaxy Buds last year, will need further upgrades to those expected in the Galaxy Buds Plus, including noise cancellation and other advanced features and designs, in order to beat its rivals."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9