Apple pushed the wireless audio industry to unprecedented heights, having begun the revolution in 2016 when it pulled the headphone jack from the iPhone and also unveiled the AirPods. Since then, major smartphone manufacturers followed by removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from their phone offerings. At the same time, existing audio accessory makers started investing in wireless audio products and also many new entrants have entered the market since then.
The AirPods have been one of the most popular products from Apple in recent times, apart from the Apple Watch. The company has sold millions of AirPods since its introduction and has recorded double digit growth across the lineup. However, the company finally appears to be seeing some decline in the demand of AirPods, as other companies continue to offer high quality offerings for a much lower price.
Reduction in demands, unsold units in inventory
According to the world’s largest financial newspaper Nikkei (Asia), Apple plans to reduce the production of its AirPods products over the year 2021, as it expects to see a reduction in demand. The Cupertino based company previously planned to manufacture 110 million units of its AirPods accessories but it is reportedly planning to scale down the numbers to somewhere between 75 million and 85 million.
In 2020, Apple reportedly asked its contract manufacturers to produce 80 million to 90 million units of its AirPods products. However, the lacklustre performance has resulted in a high number of units being stuck in inventory. The company reportedly hopes to see an uptick in sales with the introduction of the next generation AirPods in the near future.
Apple is widely expected to unveil third generation AirPods anytime now. It was previously reported that the company would unveil the new AirPods at its April event but that did not happen. The upcoming AirPods will reportedly feature a design similar to its premium sibling, the AirPods Pro, with shorter stems.