Apple still dominates the global personal audio market despite annual sales dropping 30%

The global smart personal audio market saw a significant decline of 26% to 112.1 million units in quarter four of 2022 according to estimates released by Canalys,.

The industry analyst company says the decline was attributed to challenging macroeconomic conditions, with TWS unit shipments falling 23%, wireless earphones shipments dropping 36% and wireless headphones declining 25%. 

TWS (true wireless stereo), the category that had previously supported the smart personal audio market’s growth, saw shipments drop to 79.5 million in quarter four of 2022. Apple (including Beats) decreased by 30% year-on-year because shipments were strong in the fourth quarter of 2021 after the third-generation AirPods had a delayed release. The second-generation AirPods Pro helped Apple retain its lead, contributing to 63% of all AirPods’ TWS shipments. 

Apple sold 28.4 million TWS devices in the fourth quarter of 2022 for 35.8% market share. That compares to sales of 40.4 million devices and 38.9% market share in the fourth quarter of 2021 for a 30% year-over-year decline in sales.

Samsung (including JBL and other Harman subsidiaries) and Xiaomi experienced double-digit decreases despite their subsidiary brands adopting a different market strategy. Samsung and Xiaomi leveraged their respective sub-brands, JBL and Redmi, to expand their addressable markets and improve accessibility at lower prices. Samsung and Xiaomi were then able to focus on core users within their smartphone ecosystems without impacting brand image.

India’s boAt slipped to fourth, while OPPO (including OnePlus), the only top five vendor to grow (11%), rose to fifth place, backed by its robust performance in China and strong OnePlus sub-brand in India.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.