Q4 2020 TWS Hearables: Global Cooling With Regional Hotspots

Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – March 9, 2021

The global TWS hearables market showed signs of normalizing in Q4 2020, with growth cooling slightly after two quarters of strong sales driven by post-lockdown buying.

According to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Hearables (TWS) Market Report, Q4 2020 TWS sales grew 13% QoQ and 43% YoY. Strong performance in Asia ex-China and, to a lesser extent, China helped offset flattening growth in key developed markets. LATAM and MEA, which made up less than 10% of the overall market, grew fastest at a combined 25% QoQ.

Counterpoint Research TWS Hearables Unit Sales Growth

“We saw an uncharacteristic flattening last quarter in the large markets of North America and Europe. Typically, there is a holiday season sales bump, but this year it was less pronounced on strong buying, both during and post-lockdown,” observed Liz Lee, senior analyst and lead for Counterpoint’s TWS hearables research practice. “In terms of global market share leader there was no big surprise as Apple continued to dominate. However, its share steadily declined through the year, shedding 9%pts to end at 27% overall during the last quarter.”

Lee singled out Samsung as a particularly strong second-half performer, mentioning, “In highly competitive and mature markets like Europe, Samsung’s unit sales during the last quarter were notable, notching up a significant 2%pt QoQ share gain; its Galaxy Buds Live did especially well.”

“In terms of the sub-$100 price band, which was a massive driver of growth through the middle of last year, it has plateaued at around the 55% share level for the past two quarters,” she noted. “I think the market focus will now shift to the over-$100 price band as vaccinations gradually ease pandemic impacts and consumer sentiment improves. Major brands are planning to release new products with advanced features, giving consumers more options, especially in the over-$100 segment. Most anticipated is a new release from Apple – its first in two years – which we expect to be one of the biggest drivers of TWS market growth for 2021.”


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Liz Lee

Counterpoint Research


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