Xiaomi or Realme are not the market leaders in India’s true wireless earbuds market. Homegrown audio brand boAt beat the Chinese players with an impressive growth in sales and market share during the third quarter of this year.
According to Counterpoint Research, India’s TWS market registered a growth of 723 percent year-over-year during the quarter ending September 2020. The segment has clearly defied the impact of economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. The report shows that this is the highest ever growth in shipments for a single quarter.
India TWS market: boAt leads Xiaomi and Realme
The TWS market saw a huge growth with the launch of Buds Air Neo by Realme. Xiaomi took note and brought its own TWS earbuds to the country across both Mi and Redmi brands. However, boAt seems to have pulled a surprise here by becoming the No.1 player. The Indian company is also the leader in the audio segment overall.
Counterpoint Research notes that boAt became leader in this quarter by expanding its product portfolio and launching products across price segments. For the brand, boAt Airdopes 441 was the best seller and it even grabbed the second sport in the top five list. The report highlights that features like water resistance, USB Type-C charging and up to 25 hours of battery life helped the brand become leader with 18 percent market share.
boAt is closely followed by Xiaomi with a market share of 16 percent. The company managed to retain its place with the help of newly launched Redmi Earbuds 2C, which was the best-selling TWS earbuds in this quarter. Counterpoint notes that promotional price of Rs 999 and improved call quality helped sales.
Realme dropped to third in the market with a market share of 12 percent during Q3 2020. The lack of new launches and entry of new players could have taken the momentum away from the company. However, Realme Buds Q (review) and Realme Buds Air Neo are still in the top five list of best-selling true wireless earbuds in the country.
JBL and Apple round up the top five list with a market share of 8 percent and 6 percent respectively. While JBL saw decline in its market share, Apple increased its market share by 2 percentage points. AirPods (2nd Gen) also made it to the top five TWS earbuds list in this quarter.
“Inventory build-up prior to the festive season, along with a good number of new launches and entry of new players like OnePlus, vivo and Infinix, drove this substantial TWS growth. Besides, work-from-home and study-from-home due to the COVID-19 pandemic continued to boost demand,” Anam Padha, Research Associate at Counterpoint Research said in a released statement.
At the end of the third quarter, the top three brands contributed almost half of the total shipments. The over 700 percent growth in shipments also helped increase the average selling price of TWS earbuds in India. This is largely due to the increase in Apple AirPods shipments and introduction of more premium models.
With Apple having decided to not include wired EarPods with its iPhone 12 series, Counterpoint Research analysts see more consumers picking up AirPods. “The smartphone OEMs have managed to carve a significant place for themselves in the segment by leveraging their already established brand awareness and sales channels,” Research Analyst Shilpi Jain said.