Slice Intelligence made headlines when it suggested that Apple’s AirPods captured a 26% share of the wireless headphone market within a short time of going on sale. Together with a Beats share of around 15%, that put Apple at a combined total of 40%.
Today, however, NPD says those numbers paint a misleading picture, and the true market share captured by AirPods is more like 2% by volume and 3% by value. There is, it says, a simple explanation for the huge apparent discrepancy …
As CNET reports, Slice data – which relies on analysing the email receipts of its 4.2M-strong panel – only records online sales. NPD data, in contrast, also captures bricks-and-mortar sales. The company says that Beats leads the market with a 25% market share by volume, and an impressive 46% by volume.
- 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
However, says NPD, that is not to make light of Apple’s achievement with the launch of its fully-wireless in-ear headphones.
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.
Apple is already neck-and-neck with [Plantronics and Jaybird] after only one partial month of sales.
NPD also notes that Beats managed to match the growth of the total wireless headphone market to maintain its impressive market share.