The true wireless hearables market touched 12.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, with North America emerging as the largest market, accounting for 24 percent of the volumes, followed closely by the Asia Pacific region excluding China and Europe, a new report said on Friday.
According to Counterpoint Research's "Hearables Market Tracker" report, Apple led with a 60 percent market share.
Among the premium models in the top 10 best-selling list were Jabra Elite Active 65t, Samsung Gear IconX, and Bose SoundSport Free. However, several low to mid-tier models priced under $100 (roughly Rs. 6,900) also made their mark.
The strong performance of second-tier brands, such as JLab and QCY, also had a negative impact on Apple's market share.
"In Q4 2018, cost-effective models such as JLab JBuds Air True Wireless and QCY T1 gained considerable market shares. As more companies enter the market and roll out new devices equipped with advanced features at a reasonable price, consumers will get a wider choice in the future. We expect the competition to intensify going ahead," Liz Lee, Senior Analyst, Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.
Apple remained strong in its home market. However, global brands like Samsung and Jabra, and interestingly JLab and iQ Podz, also performed well in the US and Canada.
In Europe, Apple under performed with a bit lower market share as compared to other regions. Other premium brands, such as Jabra, outperformed with a market share of 14 percent.