TWS Shipments Grew 17 Percent in 1Q22

TWS Shipments Grew 17 Percent in 1Q22

Foto: Dražen Tomić - Tomich Productions

Global TWS (true wireless stereo) shipments grew 17% in the first quarter of 2022 to reach 68.2 million units, according to Canalys. Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi retained their top three positions from the previous quarter, but only Apple grew shipments.

Among the top five TWS vendors, Skullcandy and Edifier, both audio players, gained market share while the top three lost it. Since 3Q21, TWS remains the only growing category, leading to the overall 4% growth in the worldwide smart personal audio market.

Market leader Apple’s TWS shipments were up 14%. Apple’s AirPods line grew 3% to reach 19.3 million units, while Beats by Dre, Apple’s audio sub-brand, contributed more significant growth, increasing 553% to reach 2.4 million units. Beats’ strong performance was driven by the popularity of its Studio Buds and the recently launched Fit Pro. Samsung saw a similar trend, as its Galaxy Buds, TWS line fell 13%, while shipments from its Harman subsidiary, JBL, grew 31%. Canalys estimates show that the average selling price (ASP) of the top five TWS vendors fell to $144 in 1Q22, from $153 in 1Q21.

“Vendors are using audio names with strong brand equity in sound to expand their total addressable markets,” said Jason Low, Canalys Principal Analyst. “Unlike Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds ranges, devices from sub-brands can depart from the vendors’ core design philosophy and develop their unique styles and niches. Options for variety and personalization are vital in a market where design and feature homogenization are common.”

“Players such as Skullcandy, Edifier, and JBL attained greater scale after doubling down on the sub-US$50 segment, contributing to the ASP decline,” said Canalys Research Analyst Sherry Jin. “But highly commoditized items, such as budget TWS devices, are likely to bear the brunt of rising costs and inflation. The uncertain global market outlook will hamper consumer confidence and weaken demand. On top of waning demand, a crowded entry-level segment, rising costs, and supply constraints also add to vendors’ problems.”

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