The three camps of high, middle and low end fought fiercely, and the Android Market ecology was complex
According to the data of counter point research, a Market Research Institute, the global shipment of TWS Bluetooth headsets will reach 230 million pairs in 2020, with a year-on-year increase of 91.6%. Meanwhile, the compound annual growth rate from 2019 to 2022 will remain at 80%, showing a blowout development. In recent years when the TWS headset market has doubled, downstream terminal manufacturers have flocked to the market. At the same time, it has also brought huge demand for Bluetooth chips for upstream chip manufacturers, attracting a large number of players. According to the Market Research Report of Guosheng securities in 2019, As of April 2019, 8 chip manufacturers including Qualcomm, Luoda, Ruiyu, hengxuan and Ju core have launched a total of 18 TWS Bluetooth chip solutions. From the perspective of system, TWS Bluetooth chip is mainly divided into two markets. One is that Apple holding W series and H series has formed its own school and won half of the market without suspense; The other is the Android Market with complex ecology and high demand for compatibility. From a market perspective, Apple's airpods series accounted for more than 70% of the market share before 2018. Although Apple's share was diluted with the addition of more players in 2019, it still accounted for more than half of the market. TWS headset Bluetooth chip is undoubtedly a pastry, which has attracted chip manufacturers at home and abroad to settle down and compete with each other. However, due to the technical gap at home and abroad, Bluetooth chip solutions can be divided into three forces from the perspective of market-oriented positioning. Apple Middle and low end market low-end market From the layout of the low end Bluetooth chip market, it is easy to find that the majority of the high-end market has been divided up by foreign enterprises such as apple, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Plath, while the low and middle end markets are mainly distributed in the companies of China, Taiwan, and Ryu, and the low end market is almost the Chinese mainland business, such as Jerry, Zhongke Lanxun, torch core and other manufacturers. This has also formed the Bluetooth chip market situation of "European and American enterprises eat meat, Taiwan enterprises drink soup, and mainland enterprises bite bones", which is often compared by some people in the industry.
Three competitive focuses of TWS Bluetooth chip
TWS Bluetooth headset, as a market of "old trees and new buds", has ushered in a new development stage to a certain extent under the innovation of Bluetooth transmission technology and the development of IOT market. However, from a technical point of view, there are still many problems to be solved in TWS Bluetooth chip. Among them, the power consumption, transmission, delay, noise reduction and HD audio codec technology of Bluetooth chip are still important technical nodes for the next generation breakthrough.
1. Reduce power consumption Although Qualcomm, Luoda, hengxuan and other manufacturers have launched many low-power chips, the endurance performance of TWS headphones is still a problem that needs to be strengthened. On the one hand, TWS headphones, as wearable devices, need independent power supply; On the other hand, it also needs to be paired with a smartphone. Therefore, the low power consumption of Bluetooth chip is one of the basic performance requirements for the wide application of TWS headset. At the same time, with more applications such as video, audio and AI voice wake-up on TWS headphones, and the increase of noise reduction chips, sensors and other electronic components integrated by manufacturers in the headphones, there are more stringent requirements for the low-power performance of Bluetooth chips.
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2. Improve transmission efficiency In terms of transmission, the mainstream transmission technologies in the market are mainly Apple's "monitoring" and Android's "forwarding". In short, "monitoring" mainly refers to that two headphones can decode the encrypted signals sent by Bluetooth, automatically transmit audio and activate microphone on the basis of one-to-one link in advance. This method can reduce the time of data transfer and further improve the transmission efficiency. The "forwarding type" requires the main headset to receive the data and then transmit it to another headset. Compared with the "monitoring type", this not only increases the transit time, but also leads to the problems of delay and high power consumption to a certain extent. At the same time, it is also prone to the phenomenon that the left and right ears are not synchronized. However, due to patent problems, manufacturers are unable to use Apple's "monitoring" scheme. Therefore, how to solve the transmission problem caused by secondary forwarding has become a technical direction that many manufacturers need to break through. At present, medium and high-end manufacturers, including Qualcomm, Huawei and Luoda, have solved this problem to a certain extent through two-way transmission schemes.
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3. Reduce delayIn terms of application, in addition to conference calls, TWS headphones are also commonly used in users' entertainment scenes such as music, video and games, which has higher requirements for chip connection, delay and other performance. Apple's H1 chip is relatively outstanding in this regard. Compared with the initial generation of airpods equipped with W1, its second-generation airpods headset can achieve twice the device switching speed, 1.5 times the call connection speed, and more than 30% of the game audio delay.In addition, there are Bluetooth chips such as Huawei A1, Qualcomm qcc5126 and Ruiyu rtl8763b, which are optimized in terms of delay. But for manufacturers, this is still a technology that needs to be tackled and improved for a long time.
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Now, some mobile phone manufacturers such as apple, Huawei and Google have begun to develop richer technologies such as voice assistant, AI translation, bone voiceprint ID recognition and health tracking on TWS headphones, integrating more performance and experience into the headphones, making the platform trend of TWS headphones gradually obvious.
This trend also further stimulates the innovation and development of Bluetooth chip technology, which means that the technical challenges faced by Bluetooth chip are far more than this. In short, in the future, with the innovation of Apple TWS headphones and the further development of Android Market, more and more consumers will become users of TWS headphones. Behind the irresistible development of TWS headset market, Bluetooth chip will also face greater challenges and opportunities.
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