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TWS Market Growing Steadily in Size and Value

by Ken Hyers | Sep 24, 2021

The global Bluetooth TWS market is growing steadily larger, Strategy Analytics' latest research shows, with shipments up 76% annually in Q2 2021.  It is also growing more valuable, with revenues up 41% year-to-year.  Interestingly, despite the proliferation of low-value TWS coming out of China and India, ASP declines have not been as dramatic as some had feared, due in no small part to Apple’s continued dominance of a market segment it created and has continued to dominate.

TWS Vendor Rev % Share

Apple continues to be the leader in the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) segment. After releasing the AirPods in 2016 Apple has basically owned the whole segment. In 2022 Apple will have a share of near 1/5th entire global TWS market, down from more than a quarter of the market in 2021. Apple’s share is being eaten by increasing competition especially from China.

Xiaomi is competing with good quality and affordable prices. Its main markets are in China and some selected Asian, Eastern European, and African markets but growing also in Western Europe where they have managed to capture smartphone shipments lost by Huawei.

OPPO is quickly becoming a formidable player in the TWS sector. Its strong performance in India, LATAM and Western Europe are pushing its sales.

Samsung has benefitted from its strong 5G smartphone sales. TWS headsets are often purchased with new phone. Samsung takes fourth position in our global TWS shipments ranking.

Outside the top-5 there are some very interesting vendors such as boAT, Edifier that are similar low-cost vendors as QCY operating mainly in India and China but aspire to widen the offering to other regions. Vivo, Realme, Honor completes the top-10 offering as they grow within the regions alongside their smartphone offering.

We expect the segment to continue its rapid growth, but Apple will maintain its lead in the segment even as its share will decline from its peak in 2017 as more vendors enter the market and the addressable market grows.

There are several small vendors in the TWS segment offering their products, including many clear AirPod copycat products at much lower price points; many of these copycat products of are shoddy quality, commensurate with their extremely low price-points.

In India alone we estimate there are way over one hundred small TWS vendors. The situation is naturally not sustainable as there is not enough markets for all, but in the short to medium term the development cost and manufacturing cost of TWS headsets is so low that the amount of microvendors will continue to grow.

Clients of Strategy Analytics’ Bluetooth Device Tracker service can access the report Global Bluetooth TWS Volume, ASP & Revenues by Vendor Forecast to 2022, here.

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