According to a new report from Bloomberg, shipments of AirPods are expected to double to 60 million units during 2019 compared to last year. The report cites “people familiar with” Apple’s production plans, and provides a rare look at unit sales for Apple’s truly wireless headphones.
The report says that the year-over-year increase has been partly driven by “much higher than expected demand” for AirPods Pro, which were released to the public last month. To keep up with that demand, Apple’s assembly partners are pushing against capacity and technical constraints.
The $249 AirPods Pro have surpassed expectations and demand for them is pushing Apple’s assembly partners against capacity and technical constraints, a person familiar with the matter said. Multiple suppliers are competing for the business of manufacturing the Pro earphones, though some are still building up the technical proficiency.
AirPods were first released in December of 2016. Since then, they have been incredibly successful, with Apple regularly struggling to keep up with demand. Apple itself does not report until sales for AirPods. Instead, that revenue is lumped in with Apple’s Wearables, Home, and Accessories category, which hit $6.5 billion during Apple’s fiscal Q4.
In 2019, Apple has overhauled its AirPods lineup. In March, Apple launched new a new version of AirPods with the H1 chip, hands-free Siri, and an optional wireless charging case. That release was followed by AirPods Pro in October, which offer noise cancellation, Transparency mode, and more.
As we detailed earlier today, AirPods are set to have a dominating holiday season as competitors like Google and Microsoft struggle to get their latest truly wireless earbuds on the market. That being said, Apple could struggle to keep up with holiday demand – especially at the high-end with its new AirPods Pro.
AirPods Pro are currently back-ordered several weeks from most retailers in the United States, and shipping estimates could soon push beyond the holiday shopping season.
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