While Apple’s AirPods have undoubtedly been helped along their way thanks to the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone more than their audio quality, there is plenty to love about the wireless earphones.
Priced at $159, they are far from inexpensive, but that is unlikely to stop Apple from being able to shift lots of them in 2018. According to KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is likely to double its AirPods shipments, taking them to somewhere between 26-28 million units during next year.
Since their release in December of 2016, Apple’s AirPods have been difficult to get hold of with demand seemingly outstripping supply regularly. In fact, it is only over the past few weeks where deliveries for orders placed via the U.S. Apple Store online presence have reduced to around 1-3 days. If Kuo is correct, then we can hopefully expect to see many more AirPods on store shelves around the globe moving through 2018.
Truly wireless and providing battery life that should last a working day, AirPods can even be charged via their included case. That impressive battery capability will also come to the fore when Apple’s own AirPower wireless charging pad arrives next year. A future where iPhones, AirPods and Apple Watches can charge wirelessly is not too far away, and this alone is likely to help drive AirPods sales.
According to Kuo, Apple has been able to improve delivery times so far this year by adding an additional assembler, Luxshare, into its continually evolving supply chain. Until recently, Inventec was the sole manufacturer for AirPods and it would appear the company has struggled to keep up with demand.
Inventec is also apparently the company chosen to build the HomePod, Apple’s smart speaker that was originally expected to arrive this month but has now been delayed until next year. Kuo believes that Luxshare may also receive an order for HomePod production moving forward.
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