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Apple Losing Wireless Earbuds Market Share Even as AirPods Sales Grow

  • AirPods maker is projected to sell 82 million pairs this year
  • Wider market growing even faster, driven by cheaper models
Apple Inc. Unveils Next Generation iPhone And New Watch
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. will likely boost sales of its AirPods range by a third this year, but that won’t stop it from losing its dominant grip on the fast-growing wireless earbuds market.

The AirPods have come to define the true wireless (TWS) earphones category, with Apple accounting for nearly half of all sales in 2019 and expected to grow to 82 million units this year, according to Counterpoint Research data. More affordable alternatives from Chinese rivals, however, have eroded Apple’s lead and the Silicon Valley company now finds itself with just over a third of the market, at 35%, followed by Xiaomi Corp. with 10% and Samsung Electronics Co. on 6%, according to the researchers.