Wireless speakers continues to register strong growth in 2021, after recording a double-digit percentage sales increase in 2020. The category is being driven by consumers working from home, as many employees prefer using wireless speakers to headphones for virtual meetings.
Despite being a fragmented category with many brands available, Connoisseur Electronics (Pty) Ltd’s JBL brand is gaining share in wireless speakers in 2021, helping it cement its leadership not only of wireless speakers but also portable players as a whole. While JBL’s brand equity is almost unrivalled, benefitting from widespread consumer awareness, its speakers also range in price from ZAR600 to ZAR20,000.
Elsewhere in the category, portable media players continues declining, as they have lost virtually all relevance with consumers, as people switch to using smartphones for music, videos and alarm clocks. E-readers, dominated by Kindle, also continues declining as consumers substitute tablets and smartphones for reading purposes, while physical books have also made a comeback in recent years.
The strong growth in sales of wireless speakers is expected to continue in the forecast period, as low penetration offers great scope for expansion. Growth is set to be boosted by a more permanent shift to remote working, driving demand for better audio options for virtual meetings and improved working experiences.
Given the pace at which the industry is moving, technological innovation is anticipated to be a driving factor in the forecast period, as consumers continue to seek tech products that are considered “new” and” trendy”, while also being functional. For example, voice assistant, or “smart” functionality is set to continue gaining popularity, as consumers seek wireless connectivity options.
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