When Apple’s senior vice president, Phil Schiller, unveiled the AirPods wireless headset to the world at the fall launch in September 2016, he didn’t expect it to be so popular in 2019 that it was even called a cultural phenomenon – he probably wouldn’t have thought that AirP Ods is compared to the red-hot iPod.
Recently, Market research firm Asymco released a new study on Apple’s roughest revenue in wearables, smart homes and other analogies; Income was comparable at the peak of the year.
It’s a sign that The AirPods have somehow inherited the iPod’s glory.
Reinvented the wireless Bluetooth headset
When the AirPods were unveiled at Apple’s 2016 launch, it was just a small part of the entire iPhone 7 series introduction section, which took about seven minutes – but seven minutes was enough to redefine a product category.
Like all Bluetooth headsets, the AirPods are first and foremost a Bluetooth-connected wireless headset, but at the same time, the AirPods have dramatically improved the experience of wireless headsets through a range of technology and product innovations. From today’s perspective, as Apple says, this AirPods, which look like a hairdryer, are a revolutionary, groundbreaking innovation.
The revolutionary nature of AirPods is reflected in many ways.
At the sound level, the AirPods wireless headset itself is based on Bluetooth technology, but it’s greatly improved. Due to the low transmission bandwidth and high transmission delay of The Bluetooth headset in the past, this seriously affects the performance of the Bluetooth headset in terms of sound quality, and is not stable. In AirPods, Apple’s redesigned W1 chip solves these problems, providing more stable and reliable transmission and better sound quality performance, and Bluetooth headsets will enter the era of audio headsets.
In addition to sound quality issues, Apple’s W1 chip design also emphasizes battery life, which was a headache that limited the development of wireless headphones in the first place. The W1 chip uses only a third of the energy of a Bluetooth headset chip, which Apple claims can last up to five hours on a single charge of the AirPods. At the same time, the AirPods are paired with custom charging cases that last up to 24 hours of total usage. The AirPods also charge very fast, and you can get 3 hours of usage for just 15 minutes in the charging case.
If sound quality and battery life establish the airPods as a Bluetooth headset, its ability to interact gives the product an intelligent experience. Based on its built-in optical sensors and motion accelerometer, as well as two microphones laid out above and down the headset, it brings revolutionary changes at the interactive level:
AirPods are so easy to connect, with a charging case on to pair, and a headset that automatically stops music playback when the headset comes out of their ears, users can wake Up Siri and activate the microphone with just two taps, so siri can control music, adjust volume, or perform other tasks.
Of course, the experience of the AirPods itself is inseparable from the product ecology that Apple has built.
Obviously, AirPods were first based on the need for iPhones to move wirelessly, but from the start, the use of AirPods transcended the iPhone. In terms of the use of this product, it works with almost all of Apple’s major product categories, such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, and is perfectly integrated into Apple’s product ecosystem and serves as a good ecological consignment.
It’s conceivable that if the iPhone were to re-invent the phone, the AirPods would have reinvented the wireless Bluetooth headset.
From AirPods to AirPods Pro
Both the iPhone and the iPad have gone through a process of maturing in improvement after the release of both the iPhone and the iPad in Apple’s product series. But the $1288 AirPods are a unique exception, and as a product category, it’s very mature and experienced at birth;
Of course, airPods went through some questionable experiences at the start of sales in 2016 and went through a two-month jump ticket until December of that year.
But as a result, the AirPods are in short supply when they go on sale. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who came to the New York Stock Exchange a few days before 2017, told CNBC that he couldn’t discuss the business, but that the AirPods had been a success and that Apple was producing as quickly as possible to meet consumer demand when Apple’s website showed that AirPods needed It will take 6 weeks to arrive.
Over the next two years, AirPods experienced a unique sales growth process.
With just one product or one model, Sales of AirPods have grown naturally over time. AirPods shipped 14 million units in 2017, up from 150 percent to 35 million units in 2018, according to Marketconsulting FirmResearch.
In February 2019, according to Neil Cybart, a longtime Apple analyst, AirPods sold more products than the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPod, making it the second-largest Apple product after the iPad, based on sales performance over the same period after launch.
Even before the release of the next generation of AirPods, AirPods had been described as a cultural phenomenon – something that was officially “certified” by Tim Cook in a later Apple earnings conference call.
In March 2019, two-and-a-half years after the AirPods came out, Apple finally released its iterative product. Compared to the first generation, the next generation of AirPods is unique in that the chips (from W1 to H1) and Siri interact with the upgrade, and the addition of wireless charging boxes, a limited optimization of the first generation of products, priced at 1558 yuan.
Then, in October 2019, Apple released the AirPods Pro, which features active noise reduction and adaptive equalization, and is available in earbud size and has a permeable mode; A new height in the AirPods series. It’s worth noting that, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview, the AirPods Pro is a complement to, not a substitute, for AirPods.
To this day, the first generation of AirPods is still on sale more than three years after its release.
Driving the TWS industry
Of course, even with such a popular product category, Apple didn’t list it alone, but instead included it in the wearables, home and accessories categories.
But since the launch of the AirPods, Apple’s wearables, home and accessories revenue segmenthas has seen encouraging growth , with sales of its wearables, homes and accessories growing at almost 30 percent year-on-year since the release of the AirPods, according to Apple’s earnings data. This has been growing at a rate of 48% and 54% in the last two quarters.
But AirPods are driving not only the growth in revenue from Apple’s own wearables, home and accessories businesses, but also the change steam across the wireless Bluetooth headset industry.
From 2017 to 2018, smartphone makers, led by AirPods, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Samsung, and Google, have released their own wireless Bluetooth headsets, while Bose and Sony have launched their own similar products. Wireless Stereo’s market concept is also gaining momentum and will be completely detonated in 2019.
According to market research firm GFK, global TWS headset shipments were only 9.18 million units in 2016, with a market size of less than $2 billion, but by 2018 global TWS headset shipments reached 46 million units, compared with an estimated 100 million units for 2019 and expected to be in 2020 There will be 150 million units – and the entire TWS headset market will grow from $200 million in 2017 to more than $11 billion by 2020.
It can be said that AirPods are driving the entire TWS industry on their own.
Ironically, the AirPods are so hot that they have also managed to attract the attention of Huaqiang North. Because the AirPods themselves sell for more than a thousand dollars, Huaqiang North is also following the fashion trend, creating a variety of affordable “alternatives” for consumers. For a while, various versions of Huaqiang North AirPods have emerged on the market, with prices of more than a hundred, two hundred, or even more than 300 – even the newly released AirPods Pro, Huaqiang North has not let go.
It can only be said that redness is not much.
Today, in the face of AirPods, which has become a cultural phenomenon, it’s not hard to acknowledge what Jony Ive said at Apple’s launch when introducing AirPods:
We believe that the future will be a wireless world. Links between your various devices will also be natural. This belief has prompted us to design this new wireless AirPods… This is just one small step towards a truly wireless future. For many years, we have been working with technology to automatically connect you and your device.