Apple dominates the competition among wireless headphone customers

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Earphones research
Apple has a whole lot of brand awareness among customers.
Photo: Counterpoint Research

A survey of customers in the UK hammers home Apple’s dominance when it comes to wireless in-ear headphones. According to a report by Counterpoint Research, 63% of respondents named Apple as a preferred brand when picking their next wireless in-ear headphones.

Apple trounced the competition that included Bose, Sony, the Apple-owned Beats, Samsung and others. While respondents were able to name multiple brands, the quantity of people who mentioned Apple makes clear just how much of a name Apple has carved out for itself in this market.

Coronavirus less likely to hurt Samsung than Apple

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Samsung Galaxy S20 isn’t made in China
Samsung depends more on Vietnam for production than China, so the Galaxy S20 series probably won’t be in short supply.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung is less exposed to the negative effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in China than many of its rivals, including Apple.

But the opposite is true of Huawei, a China-based smartphone-maker likely getting hurt more than Apple.

Apple’s smart moves start to pay off in India

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iPhone XS in India
Apple is working to lower hefty iPhone prices in India, which are sometimes higher than US prices.
Photo: Apple

Apple has a slender percentage of Indian handset sales, but there’s cause for optimism. We spoke with Anshika Jain, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, to see whether the changes Apple has been making to its business practices in India started to bear fruit during the second quarter of this year, and what they might mean for the future.

Apple Watch shipments shot up 49% last quarter

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Apple Watch in Singapore
When you see someone wearing a smartwatch, there’s a good chance it’s made by Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s wearable is turning into a real success. Shipments of Apple Watch grew 49 percent in the first three months of this year.And it makes up the lion’s share of all smartwatches.

This company’s revenue for this product category grew 30 percent last quarter.

iPhone shipments dropped a ‘staggering’ 30% last quarter

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iPhone XR Spectrum ad
Those iPhones aren’t floating upward.
Photo: Apple

Although Apple no longer reports the number of iPhone units it sells, the company did admit there was a steep decline in handset revenue in the first three months of this year. Analysts are out with their exact estimates, and the number of iPhones shipped last quarter could have dipped as much as 30 percent.

AirPods absolutely dominate the wireless headphones market

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AirPods wall display is on show in New York.
They may be small, but AirPods are a big hit.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirPods aren’t just a massive hit for Apple, they’re a giant in the overall “wireless hearables” market. According to new research from Counterpoint, AirPods made up a massive 60 percent of the overall market in Q4 2018.

It would have been even bigger, too, if customers hadn’t been waiting on Apple’s updated AirPods 2 at the time!

AirPods most popular brand in ‘hearables’ market

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AirPods sales
35 million pairs of AIrPods sold in 2018.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple sold some 35 million AirPods last year. That makes the wireless earbuds, which had a rocky rollout, the most popular “hearables” device in the U.S., according to Counterpoint Research.

But Apple has competition within earshot from Sony and Samsung, both of which are only a couple of percentage points off in market share and are expected to grow.

iPhone XR Apple’s best-selling phone as sales fall

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iPhone XR was India’s no. 1 ‘ultra premium’ smartphone in 2019
iPhone XR was India’s no. 1 ‘ultra premium’ smartphone in 2019
Photo: Apple

Apple’s best-selling smartphone last November was, perhaps unsurprisingly, its most affordable model. The iPhone XR outsold the iPhone XS and the larger iPhone XS Max, according to new data — but overall iPhone sales saw a significant decline.

Apple completely dominates premium smartphone sales

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iPhone X
Sales of the iPhone X were vastly higher than the equivalently-priced Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Samsung sells more phones than Apple, and its high-end devices like the Galaxy S9 get lots of attention. That means Samsung sells as many top-tier models as Apple, right? Nope, not even close.

Apple sells close to twice as many premium phones as its top rival. In this case, “premium” is any handset costing over $400. Which is a fairly low bar.

Apple loses marketshare but still makes the most money

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Apple profits
Apple can afford to lose some marketshare because of how profitable it is.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple is the headline in two new studies. One seems alarming as it shows Apple’s share in the smartwatch market has declined by 14 percent.

But the second study shows Apple as the biggest money maker in the smartphone market by a long shot. Thanks to iPhone X, Apple held 62 percent of the market share in Q2. Its closest rival, Samsung, has suffered double-digit sales losses and is a distant second at 17 percent.