If you need the definite proof that Apple’s rumored decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the next iPhone is based on some actual real-world numbers, here’s one. According to the latest stats for the month of June, published Thursday by research firm NPD, revenue from sales of wireless headphones in the United States during the month of June beat that of their wired counterparts. Revenue from wireless headphones accounted for 54 percent of U.S. dollar sales and 17 percent of unit sales in the headphone category.
For the first half of 2016, U.S. sales of wireless and wired headphones climbed seven percent annually, but Bluetooth ones saw a more substantial 42 percent annual increase in dollar sales during the same period.
Ranked by dollar sales, Apple-owned Beats headphones led the Bluetooth headphone market, followed by LG. The two firms accounted for approximately 65 percent of dollar sales in the first half of 2016.
Bose came in third and Jaybird was fourth, with Skullcandy rounding up the top five headphone vendors in the country in terms of revenue. A big reason for the uptick in sales of Bluetooth headphones is their decreasing average sales prices, which dropped five percent annually in the first half of the year.
Nearly 30 percent of Bluetooth headphones sold during the period were priced at up to $50, with barely half as much accounting for the $50 segment in the first half of 2014.
In my personal opinion, that only seventeen percent of headphones sold in June were wireless and yet they brought in more than half of total revenue for the category just exemplifies the fact that Bluetooth headphones are a few times pricier than their wired counterparts.
NPD itself said that “consumers are already embracing a wireless future and if, as rumored, the headphone jack is removed from the next iPhone, we expect this will continue to drive market share of the Bluetooth category.”
If that doesn’t make you a believer in the wireless audio future, I don’t know what will.