If it seems like almost everyone you see wearing wireless earbuds is using AirPods, you’re not far off. Apple owns a whopping 31% of the world market – three times the market share of its closest competitor.
And the company’s lead is growing, with shipments growing strongly year-over-year, according to a market research firm.
AirPods lead headphone market by wide margin
Apple made wireless earbuds a popular, mainstream product with the original AirPods back in 2016, and Cupertino continues to lead the market to this day.
The September 2022 launch of AirPods Pro 2 further boosted Apple’s headphone shipments, according to analysts at Canalys. This new model of Apple’s noise-canceling earbuds accounted for 4.2 million units, or 20% of all AirPods shipments during the September quarter, according to Canalys.
All Apple headphone shipments, including Beats, totaled 23.8 million units in Q3 2022. That’s 30.9% of the world market for smart headphones, and a 34% annual growth rate.
For comparison, the second biggest player in this market is Samsung, which shipped 7.4 million units in Q3, for a 9.6% share of the market — and a 15% year-over-year decline. Other top competitors include boAt (5.4% of the market), Xiaomi (3.4%) and Skullcandy (2.6%).
AirPods Pro 2, which Cult of Mac’s reviewer called “among the best earbuds on the market and a worthy upgrade for almost anyone,” are just one of several AirPods options available. Read Cult of Mac‘s AirPods buying guide for holiday giving for help making the right choice.