India’s TWS (True Wireless Stereo, commonly known as earbuds) market clocked its highest-ever growth of 723% year-on-year in the September 2020 quarter, with shipments of about 6 million units, according to Counterpoint Research.

“It is one of the few segments which managed to defy the impact of economic slowdown, reaching its highest ever growth in shipments for a single quarter,” it said.

The growth was led by BoAt, which cornered 18% market share. This was followed by Xiaomi (16%), Realme (12%), JBL (8%) and Apple (6%).

“Inventory build-up prior to the festive season, along with a good number of new launches and entry of new players such as OnePlus, Vivo and Infinix drove this substantial TWS growth. Besides, work-from-home and study-from-home due to the covid-19 pandemic continued to boost demand,” Counterpoint Research associate Anam Padha said.

Counterpoint Research analyst Shilpi Jain said most smartphone manufacturers now have entered the CIOT (consumer Internet of Things) segment and are expanding their TWS portfolios across price tiers to benefit from the huge potential it holds.

“Increase in ‘stay at home’ activities due to covid-19 pandemic have also boosted demand for TWS. Smartphone OEMs have managed to carve a significant place for themselves in the segment by leveraging their already established brand awareness and sales channels,” she added.

Jain said the India TWS average selling price (ASP) has increased for the first time since 2019, largely due to the increase in Apple AirPods shipments and new launches in higher price tiers.

Apple’s decision to not include wired EarPods with its new iPhone 12 series evidently helped it increase demand for AirPods, she said.

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In a separate statement, BoAt said it has seen 385% growth in the TWS category in the September quarter over the June quarter. Overall, the TWS category has grown by 172% since the earlier quarter, while BoAt has grown by 385% during the same period, it said.

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