NPD: Americans have purchased 900,000 wireless headsets so far this year
Apple AirPods dominate a report posted Thursday by NPD analyst Ben Arnold:
Totally wireless earbuds represent a new segment that has come out of the emergence of Bluetooth. Bragi and Doppler Labs were among the first companies making totally wireless earbuds, but the entrance of tech titans like Apple and Samsung (but mostly Apple) has led to a spike in unit sales in the segment. More than 900,000 totally wireless headphone units were sold in the U.S. since the start of the year, according to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service…
Some products have a loftier goal – making the wireless earbud a computing device for the ear. Since launching in December, Apple’s AirPods have accounted for 85 percent of totally wireless headphone dollar sales in the U.S., according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service. With a use case centering on frictionless access to Siri and other tasks initiated by voice, AirPods really act as an extension of the iPhone. Apple’s path to leadership in the category is helped by disruptive pricing, brand resonance, and excitement over the W1 chip, which significantly eases Bluetooth connections to iOS and Mac devices.
My take: “Disruptive pricing” is a phrase not typically associated with Apple. But see At $159, Apple made AirPods too cheap
TO BE CLEAR: Apple did not sell 85% of 900,000 wireless headsets sold in the U.S. since January. It collected 85% of the dollars spent on those 900,000 wireless headsets.