Sustaining innovations for “Apple’s most popular accessory ever.”
From MacRumors, channeling Ming-Chi Kuo:
In a brief research note highlighting Apple’s suppliers for its popular AirPods wireless earphones, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that new AirPods with a wireless charging case will debut in the first quarter of 2019, with an “all-new design model” following in the first quarter of 2020. The updates are predicted to drive strong sales growth for the product.
We attribute AirPods’ dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively) to 1) the upgraded model with wireless charging support to benefit shipments to launch in 1Q19, 2) the all-new design model to boost replacement demand to launch in 1Q20, 3) an innovative user experience, and 4) high integration with iOS and Mac products. In summary, AirPods is Apple’s most popular accessory ever, and it currently has the best growth momentum among Apple products.
Kuo notes that fewer than 5 percent of iPhone users currently own AirPods, and with over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide, there are “great potential growth opportunities” for the accessory.
Better: 9to5Mac’s Benjamin Mayo unpacks Kuo’s prose.
My take: Kuo’s track record is better on specs than on timing. His guesses on unit sales are just guesses.
See also: How reliable is Ming-Chi Kuo? (cries for an update)