Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021, 12:30 Hardware

AirPods Hype Over? Demand Reportedly Drops Drastically, Apple Cuts Production

The AirPods were not only a successful product from the start, but a real hype had developed around the white, wireless earbuds. Within a very short time, AirPods were omnipresent - comparable to how the distinctive white earphones were once ubiquitous at the peak of the iPod era. With about $15 billion in annual revenue, the AirPods division alone would rank as one the 200 largest US companie. After sheer unbridled growth, a somewhat more difficult phase is now likely to begin. In March, Ming-Chi Kuo had already analyzed that 2021 would definitely not be a record year for the headphone division. Current figures seem to underline this.

Up to 40 percent less?
According to Nikkei Apple will have to cut back production considerably. Demand is said to have dropped significantly, which is why Apple is having up to 40 percent fewer units manufactured. Apple planned to sell up to 110 million AirPods in the current year, but now it will be 85 million at best. The discrepancy is particularly drastic in the second quarter of the year, according to Nikkei. There are no details on whether there is less customer interest in all AirPods models. However, it does not sound unlikely that the regular AirPods are particularly affected as many are waiting for the third generation.

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As Kuo already analyzed: Little to distinguish.
In the Kuo analysis mentioned earlier, it was said that Apple has to deal with structural problems. Besides the increasing saturation of the market, there are few key points to distinguish the high-priced AirPods from inexpensive solutions. The Apple ecosystem cannot protect sales figures as it is the case with many other products. If Apple does indeed introduce the third generation of AirPods in the fall, there should certainly be another upward trend. However, there are more and more voices saying that Apple's earphone division has passed its (financial) zenith.

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