公开数据显示，中国真无线耳机市场 2022 年出货量超过6881万台，同比下降 15.0%。反而骨传导耳机实现增长，其出货量为229万台，同比增长 123.6%。
SHOKZ engage with the patent lawsuit with Xiaomi and other more than 20 companies，to Protect the benefits of bone conduction headset products
On the bone conduction headset track, ShaoYin is busy with patent litigation to solidify its moat.
Some statistics show that in 2021 alone, ShaoYin filed more than 200 patent lawsuits against more than 20 infringing manufacturers, involving more than 20 patents, of which the patent battle with Xiaomi was tightly urged.
At the end of October 2022, Xiaomi released its first bone conduction headset, announcing that it had joined the bone conduction headset battle. However, within the past two years, the bone conduction headset battlefield is somewhat heavy with gunpowder, and its performance lies in Shaoyin’s patent stick hitting Xiaomi’s head in successive years.
Before Xiaomi officially stepped into the bone conduction headset track, Shao Yin in September 2022 in Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court, against Xiaomi Technology Co. and Xiaomi Youpin Technology Co., Ltd. filed a utility model patent infringement case, to the beginning of January this year, Shao Yin to infringe the utility model patent dispute on the head again sued Xiaomi, the case was accepted, but the trial results have not yet been made public.
This makes people think about the following two questions: First, what is the purpose of the patent battle that Shaoyin continues to initiate? Second, Xiaomi’s entry, is it a threat to Shaoyin’s position as the industry leader in bone conduction headphones?
Patent rights, to buy time for the layout
Shaoyin is a national high-tech enterprise committed to original technology innovation, the company created bone conduction headphones subvert the listening experience, in the sale of more than 60 countries and regions.
Since its inception, ShaoYin has paid great attention to building a patent moat. Last November, at a technology conference, Shaoyin China CEO Yang Yun said that as of September 2022, Shaoyin has carried out more than 3,300 intellectual property rights layout worldwide.
From the patent rights data, from 2016 to March 2023, ShaoYin had a total of 51 lawsuits against others or the company for infringement of utility model patent rights and infringement of design patent rights disputes.
The case closely related to the bone conduction headset is, July 25, 2022, Shao Yin sued Shanghai Hanlin Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Micro Motion Information Technology Co., Ltd. from the two companies infringed utility model patent ZL201520611462.7 “a bone conduction speaker to improve the sound quality of bone conduction speakers “. Subsequently, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court trial, the defendant in this judgment within ten days from the date of entry into force to compensate the plaintiff economic losses and reasonable expenses paid to stop the infringement of a total of 100,000 yuan.
For patent rights, shao sound a intellectual property rights home explained: “we are doing original innovation, if intellectual property rights are not caught in place, you can not protect the market, to buy time for the market layout, so, intellectual property rights this piece has been I personally in the grasp. 1997, 1998 when we began to drum bone conduction microphone, some invention patents are my own write I wrote the patents myself.”
This shows that Shao Yin itself has a strong sense of intellectual property rights, in recent years continued to launch the patent battle is mainly to protect the core technology of bone conduction, so as to layout the market for bone conduction headphones at home and abroad to buy more time, the essence is that Shao Yin only to ensure that the value of bone conduction headset innovation, in order to retain the original market share, so as to ensure that Shao Yin in the bone conduction headset market important position.
Market variables, bone conduction fire up
Public data shows that China’s true wireless headset market 2022 shipments of more than 68.81 million units, down 15.0% year-on-year. On the contrary, bone conduction headphones to achieve growth, its shipments of 2.29 million units, an increase of 123.6% year-on-year.
Looking at the global market, the market size of bone conduction headphones grew from 200 million yuan in 2012 to 8.9 billion yuan in 2022, achieving a growth of over 2800%. According to forecasts, the global bone conduction headset market size will reach 20 billion yuan in 2023.
Bone conduction headphones are especially favored by foreign sports enthusiasts. Public data show that by the end of 2021, ShaoYin accounted for 70% of global bone conduction headset shipments in overseas markets. Among them, 40% of revenue from North America, than the domestic market revenue ratio is 10% higher.
Bone conduction headset market space vast natural also by many manufacturers optimistic, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. have released similar hundred yuan price point products, fill Shao Yin in the low-end price of the vacancy, its market variables also led to patent monopoly situation was broken, Nanka, Mo Jue and other rising stars to find another way, have dozens of patents in hand to kill the market, a time wind up.
At the end of October last year, Xiaomi joined the bone conduction headset lineup, launched its first product, priced from 699 yuan. Compared with the Shao Yin flagship model 1298 yuan pricing, Xiaomi hundred yuan pricing in line with the consumption level of non-professional users, its own strong brand power will likely penetrate the bone conduction headset lineup in the next few years.
Further, the current price segment of the entrant with a low price to attract the attention of consumers, but also let Shao Yin to build the high-end bone conduction headset price system broken defense, that Shao Yin’s market share will naturally be likely to reduce.
Market trends, brands into the bone conduction headset track
Market variables undoubtedly make Shao Yin feel the competitive pressure of the bone conduction headset market, raise the patent stick to Xiaomi and other enterprises to launch related infringement lawsuits, but in the case that has been concluded in the judgment, Shao Yin was not much compensation, one has to wonder whether there is a suspicion of excessive maintenance of patents for its explosive products to fight for market time? Is there the possibility of squeezing out low-cost competitors through the patent stick?
Some review bloggers say that the production cost of headphones is extremely low, and the technical threshold is not high, the market competition is often very fierce. The reason why Shaoyin is still in a monopoly position in the field of bone conduction headphones, on the one hand, because of the patent moat, on the other hand, because Shaoyin has a deep understanding of the user’s consumer needs.
At present, in addition to Shao Yin, bone conduction headphones lineup also includes NANK, Philips, Newsmy, earsopen, Dacom, DACOM、SANSUI, VORSON, Vidonn and so on. Shao Yin’s bone conduction technology strength can not be faulted, however, the market fierce competition variables have gradually dismantled SHOKZ’s patent monopoly situation.
And other brands cut into the bone conduction headset track is a development trend, so Xiaomi, Huawei and other companies to join the trend of the headset market is mostly driven.
The future bone conduction headset market, the odds are hard to determine, but the comprehensive strength of the brand between companies will be presented one by one in the market storm.