Such are the lofty expectations from the AirPods that a dip in the sales — still bestsellers though — and some questions arise about how long will they reign supreme. Apple, however, seems to have quashed those questions with robust holiday season sales. According to a report by CNBC, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed that Apple sold a total of 90 million AirPods during the holiday quarter of 2021. What’s more the latest model — AirPods (third-gen) have been a hit and sold 27 million units during the same period. Kuo says that the sales will give Apple a 20% year-on-year revenue growth for the wearables category.
The great AirPods rush
A recent report by research firm Canalys revealed that the global AirPods shipments fell drastically in Q3 2021. However, Kuo’s numbers reveal a significant jump for the AirPods in the market. Apple had remained the undisputed leader but the numbers had been dwindling.
According to Canalys, Apple shipped about 17.8 million units of true wireless earbuds — this includes the ones old under the Beats brand — in Q3 2021. AirPods shipments were down 33.8% as in the corresponding quarter last year, Apple had shipped 26.8 million units. Apple, as per Canalys, was the market leader with a 24.6% market share but this number too was down from 37.6% in Q3 2020.
The 90 million AirPods sold during this quarter means that it has been a big holiday season for Apple and its true wireless earbuds. In fact, the new AirPods seem to have sold more than all of the AirPods Apple sold in the previous quarter. Do note that Apple doesn’t reveal shipments for any of its products now, so it won’t be the official number but gives us an indication. Also, it must be said that the holiday quarter is traditionally big for Apple almost every year. It will be interesting to see how the AirPods hold in the subsequent quarters as Apple was facing stiff competition from other brands in the category.
Earlier this week, Kuo revealed that Apple will launch a new AirPods Pro in 2022 that could come with lossless audio support and AirTag-like features.