For Apple products, we can say that copycats have always been with their growth. Starting from the previous iPhone, to the current AirPods series TWS true wireless headset products, in the face of market demand and profits, many manufacturers have taken risks and invested in this white-label industry. The beneficiaries, in addition to these copycat manufacturers, Apple itself is among them. So, let’s take a look to see the AirPods shipments of both companies.
The low prices of counterfeit products have enabled the popularity of Apple products to quickly occupy the low-end market. Although the immediate benefits are divided by copycat manufacturers, in the long run, these consumers have become Apple’s potential market.
In addition to environmental factors, this is also one of the reasons why copycat Apple products can fill the entire market.
Due to the rapid development of the TWS headset market in the past few years, the TWS headset chip is rapidly iterating and its performance continues to improve. Smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei and Xiaomi and audio manufacturers such as Edifier and 1MORE are gradually narrowing the gap with Apple products in terms of design and product performance experience. And they have more choices in price.
In 2020, Apple’s AirPods shipments will continue to be compressed, so that Apple has cancelled the standard headsets for all iPhone series, hoping to further increase AirPods sales.
Shipments of Apple and Counterfeit Airpods
During this period, Shanzhai AirPods maintained stable output. According to the incomplete statistics of supply chain information, in 2020, the shipment of counterfeit AirPods has reached 600 million, and the shipment of Apple AirPods is between 80 and 90 million. The difference between the two is astonishing. It also reflects the counterfeit AirPods. market.
This time, let’s take a closer look and analyze the development process of the mysterious organization that travels on the edge of the cliff.
AirPods quickly become a direct cause of the market
And speaking of the AirPods series, we have to start with Apple iPhone 7. In September 2016, the Apple iPhone 7 series was released. Apple took the lead in removing the 3.5mm headphone jack on smartphones, and at the same time launched a new product line TWS true wireless headset AirPods headset series. The dual-channel transmission technology used by AirPods and the solution of the charging bin have quickly led the development of the industry.
As of 2017, AirPods shipments reached approximately 14 million units, and reached 35 million units in 2018, with a growth rate of 150%, accounting for about 76% of the TWS headset market shipments that year. So, AirPods quickly became popular in the market. This has also become the direct reason why many manufacturers have begun to manufacture and sell copycat AirPods headsets and continue to benefit from them.
Market demand becomes the foundation
The popularity of Apple AirPods has laid the foundation for the market. And for some people who want to buy AirPods but stop at an expensive price, copycat AirPods has become another choice. The appearance molds of Apple AirPods that have been tested by the market, coupled with low prices ranging from tens of yuan to 100 yuan ($14), have been enthusiastic by many consumers. An endless stream of copycat AirPods products began to appear in online and offline stores.
And with the increase in prices, the degree of imitation has gradually reached the essence. As we know copy AirPods saves the cost of appearance and structure design. Thus, some copy AirPods products can even exceed the performance configuration. In addition, they can use the experience of some brands of TWS headsets at the same price.
Apple AirPods have become Apple’s fastest-growing accessory product. In addition, the sales of copycat AirPods are also amazing. Shanzhai AirPods successfully reversed the situation in Huaqiangbei and made it “prosperous and reviving”. Therefore, there is also a story in TWS earphones: “There are only two true wireless earphones in the world. One is AirPods and the other is Shanzhai AirPods. “
Apple AirPods Pro released to inject new impetus into the knockoff market
By March 2019, Apple released AirPods 2 generations. It features the new Apple H1 chip, adding voice assistant wake-up, wireless charging, and other functions.
Less than a year later, Apple launched AirPods Pro on the official website in October 2019. It was the third-generation of the AirPods series. This, of course, has once again aroused the enthusiasm of counterfeit AirPods manufacturers. Less than a week after the official launch of AirPods Pro, Huaqiangbei has “successfully conquered”. The counterfeit version of AirPods Pro has begun to enter the market. The price has been reduced by four to five times compared to the original product. It is also very similar to the genuine product in function. With the development of active noise reduction technology, TWS earphones that support active noise reduction have moved down from the high-end market. Thus, it allows the counterfeit AirPods Pro to lower the price again, thereby attracting more consumer groups.
2020 knockoff AirPods shipments far exceed Apple’s genuine products
There are two months left in 2020 in the blink of an eye. Due to the epidemic, many industries this year have been affected, and so is Apple. In order to cope with the impact, Apple’s new product launch event in the fall was split into three. It was held twice in the Science and Technology Month of the Golden Nine and Silver Ten. And the return to the show was staged again on November 11. The sales of Apple AirPods have also been affected to varying degrees.
According to Apple’s supply chain information, the supply of AirPods components for Apple this year has reached 80-90 million pieces. This is in line with the data from Counterpoint Research, a well-known market research organization at the beginning of the year, that they expect the sales of Apple’s AirPods in 2020 to exceed 100 million. But with the official launch of the iPhone 12, the entire iPhone series will no longer feature wired headsets. Moreover, the sales of the AirPods series may have a rapid rise in the remaining two months.
According to incomplete statistics on supply-related information, Shanzhai AirPods has shipped 600 million in 2020. It includes low-end products worth tens of yuan, and products that support active noise reduction. It far exceeds Apple’s AirPods series in number and occupies a large share of the low-end TWS headset market.
The bottom line
There are many reasons for the proliferation and long-term development of counterfeit AirPods products. Environmental factors, Apple’s default, and a large number of consumer groups have directly or indirectly helped them grow wildly in today’s market. Among them, the popularity and rapid popularity of AirPods have provided a profitable margin for copycat products. It makes copycat manufacturers take risks and give up everything for the interests behind them.
The large market share occupied by counterfeit AirPods products is squeezing and eroding the normal development of many domestic TWS headset brands. It causes their profit margins to continue to be compressed. And they may eventually abandon this field. In the long run, this will have a certain impact on the sound development of the TWS true wireless market. In the future, we believe that many people want to see products that can compete with Apple, rather than a large number of followers.