India now owns 14% share of world’s smart personal audio market

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India’s smart personal audio market grew 62 percent in the third quarter (Q3) this year with 16.6 million units shipped, pushing its worldwide market share to 14 percent, according to a new report.

The TWS (true wireless stereo) segment was the main driver in India, growing 92 percent to reach 7.3 million units, said global market research firm Canalys.

“India has reached a new milestone as the country solidified its position as the third-largest TWS market with a market share of 10 percent,” said research analyst Ashweej Aithal.

“The strong performance is thanks to local brands, such as boAt, Noise, and Boult, as well as smartphone players, such as Realme, rapidly growing their TWS shipments,” Aithal added.

Overall, the global smart personal audio market declined by 1.2 percent to reach 118.8 million units.

Markets in Western Europe and North America fell 21 percent and 15 percent, respectively, mainly due to Apple’s shipment slump as consumers waited for the next generation of AirPods.

Globally, the TWS category barely grew, up by just 1.3 percent to reach 72.2 million units.

This was insufficient to offset the decline of wireless headphones and wireless earphones, which decreased by 4.7 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

Apple maintained its leading global position in TWS, shipping 17.8 million units, but its shipments declined by nearly a third compared with a year ago, due to a significant drop in demand as consumers waited for the third-generation devices.

Samsung, backed by a strong performance from the debut of the Galaxy Buds2, and the latest additions from JBL’s TWS entry-level lineup, regained second place, the report said.

Xiaomi, which has yet to scale up its affordable Redmi lineup after pivoting its focus to higher-value devices, moved to third place.

India’s local leader, boAt, broke into the top five for the first time, shipping 2.8 million units. Edifier was close behind with 2.7 million units.

“We expect the next quarter to be the turning point where the TWS category overtakes wireless earphones in shipment numbers in India and other markets. The challenge is to ensure robust supply, given the supply chain bottlenecks and the push to manufacture locally,” said Aithal.

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