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Bluetooth Headphones Set To Boom, Helped By Apple

The rumoured elimination of the of the headphone port on upcoming iPhone’s may not be as costly as many feared with consumers now able to buy a new generation of wireless headphones that don’t need a headphone jack.

According to The NPD Group, Bluetooth headphones accounted for 54 percent of sales for the first half of the year, 2016 — the first time this has happened.

Growth was spurred by decreasing average sales prices (ASPs): The ASP for the six-month period dropped 5 percent vs. the prior-year period. Almost 30 percent of Bluetooth headphones sold in the 2016 period were $89 or less; just 16 percent could say the same last year.

Some of the biggest demand been achieved in the premium end of the wireless headphone market.

Bluetooth headphones saw a 42 percent year-over-year increase in dollar sales for the six-month period, while the overall headphones category saw a 7 percent increase.

Despite this growth, however, Bluetooth models accounted for just 17 percent of unit sales which for retailers such as JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman means that there is still a lot of upside in the headphone market.

This can be attributed to the sheer overwhelming number of low-priced wired headphones in the market, Ben Arnold, NPD executive director and industry analyst said.

In the US market the ASP for Bluetooth headphones was $98 for the last 12 months, while the ASP for non-Bluetooth was just $18.73.

The top five Bluetooth brands in the US market for the period were Beats, Bose, Jaybird and Skullcandy, with Beats and LG accounting for approximately 65 percent of dollar sales, said NPD.

In Australia LG does not have a headphone product in the market.

Said Arnold: “Promotions and new product introductions have helped spur the growth we are seeing in Bluetooth headphones. Consumers are already embracing a wireless future and if, as rumoured, the headphone jack is removed from the next iPhone, we expect this will continue to drive market share of the Bluetooth category.”

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