India's true wireless earphones shipments grow 92% in Q3 ‘21 as Boat enters global top 5

India's true wireless earphones shipments grow 92% in Q3 ‘21 as Boat enters global top 5
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14 Dec, 2021

Demand for true wireless earphones in India continues to rise, according to Canalys' latest market report. True wireless stereo (TWS) earphone shipments grew 92% year-on-year (YoY) in Q3 2021, with 7.3 million units shipped during this quarter. TWS units account for nearly 44% of all ‘smart personal audio’ products that were shipped during this quarter, as per Canalys. 

On a global scale, Boat, the Indian audio brand, has entered the global top five sellers of TWS earphones. According to Canalys data, the company shipped a total of 2.8 million units during the quarter, growing over 220% YoY and accounting for 3.8% of all TWS earphones shipped in the world. 

India’s TWS market growth today sees it account for 10% of the world’s TWS earphones, making it a significant market for many companies. Ashweej Aithal, research analyst at Canalys said, “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.” 

In terms of the overall personal audio market, India witnessed overall growth too -- even as global shipments declined. According to Canalys, India shipped a total of 16.6 million personal audio products through Q3 2021 -- growing 62% YoY in comparison, global shipments declined by 1.2% to hit 118.8 million units. India holds a 14% share of the global market, as a result. 

Canalys says that a key factor behind the decline is a sharp fall in demand for Apple’s AirPods. The iPhone maker’s global market share in the TWS space fell by over 33%, or a third of its shipments from a year before. The market research firm says that this is a result of potential buyers waiting for the third generation AirPods to hit the market -- and Apple’s supply crunch of its products. 

Canalys’ Aithal says that TWS earphones in India may overtake standard wireless earphones as soon as in the next quarter itself. “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,” he said. 

However, the global chip shortage may weigh heavily on a potentially burgeoning market by causing supply shortage. “The challenge is to ensure robust supply, given the supply chain bottlenecks and the push to manufacture locally,” Aithal added.