Apple finally launched the wireless Bluetooth powered AirPods. Already, AirPods own 26% of the online wireless headphone market, cementing what Apple CEO Tim Cook has called “a runaway success.”
Wireless headphones accounted for half of the entire online U.S. headphones market for the first time in December 2015. Three out of every four headphones sold online in the states were of the wireless variety.
Besides Apple, Samsung has its Gear IconX wireless ear buds that compete with the AirPods. But Apple does have the benefit of having sold millions of Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus handsets, all sans a 3.5mm earphone jack. All of these iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners are potential buyers.
Apple has been dominating the category, and not just because of the $159 AirPods. Prior to the product’s launch, Beats had the leading market share based on online sales, with 24.1%. That company of course, is owned by Apple.
After the launch, Beats owned 15.4% and Apple had 26% for a combined market share of more than 40%. It might have been coincidence, but Bose got a huge lift from the launch as its share of the online wireless headphones market rose from 10.5% to 16.1%.