AirPods Have Captured One Quarter of Wireless Headphone Spending Since Launching

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The wireless headphone market has steadily grown over the past year, new data from research firm Slice Intelligence suggests.


    In the U.S. last month, an estimated 75% of revenue from headphones sold online came from wireless models, up from 50% in December 2015, according to Slice Intelligence. Apple's new AirPods led the way, capturing an estimated 26% share of online revenue in the wireless headphone market since launching on December 13.

    AirPods stole the top spot from Beats, which took an estimated 15.4% of online revenue in the wireless headphone market, down from 24.1% between the start of 2015 and December 13. Given it owns Beats, Apple appears to have actually taken nearly 40% of online revenue in the market since launching AirPods.


    Slice Intelligence said wireless headphone spending on AirPods launch day was ten times greater than the pre-holiday average for 2016. December 13 was also the largest single day of online headphone spending last year, according to the research firm, topping Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

    The research suggests 85% of shoppers who purchased AirPods are male, of which 35% are young millennials. Female buyers tended to skew older, with 38% falling in the baby boomer generation. The gender data is based on 2,871 U.S. online shoppers who purchased AirPods between December 13 and December 31.


    Apple has not disclosed AirPods sales, with CEO Tim Cook only vaguely claiming the wireless headphones have been a "runaway success" amid "a great holiday" period. AirPods remain estimated to ship in 6 weeks in the U.S. as Apple said it is working to fulfill orders as fast as possible.

    Slice Intelligence aggregated its data based on anonymized e-receipts from up to 353,926 U.S. online shoppers--the size of the user base varies per chart. But without official figures, it is impossible to determine if the data is accurate--Apple could easily follow up with very different numbers.

    Article Link: AirPods Have Captured One Quarter of Wireless Headphone Spending Since Launching
  2. randymac09 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2014
    If they fit your ears they truly are one of the best options when you consider price/quality/compatibility/features. Easy to see why they're one of the top sellers in the wireless headphone market.
  3. BvizioN macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Please don't give me this "people buy it because of the Apple logo" BS!
    Actually now that I think of it, I don't even think it have any Apple Logo
    You create a nice product, people will buy it.
  4. dannyyankou macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2012
    I think they're great, I just wish there was a setting to skip a track with a double tap. Other than that, battery life is great, charge time is quick, and they sound decent.
  5. Jerry Raia macrumors regular

    Jerry Raia

    Sep 25, 2014
    Los Angeles
  6. truthertech macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2016
    It's also long past time for the many pundits who criticized the Beats deal to acknowledge that it was an ingenious acquisition. Everybody focused on the streaming aspects, itself worthwhile, but most didn't realize the enormous value in the headphone business. Whatever you think of the audio quality of the Beats, they are enormously profitable based on markup and sales volume. From that perspective alone, Apple got a bargain and Apple is now the largest seller of wireless headphones in the world, and they have over 60% of the world wide market for premium headphones. Kudos to Tim Cook for his business acumen in this purchase.
  7. hussainh1 macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2014
    Honestly, I ordered them because they weren't crazy expensive at $159 price point, I wanted to try them, and I got my order in before the wait was crazy. I received them the week of Christmas, and they made me return my Bragi Dash, and although the sound quality isn't amazing as my Shure e5c's, I still prefer these to any of my other headphones, especially when switching quickly between Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
  8. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Bose also saw a big increase, from 10% to 16%. What's the cause of that?
  9. RoboCop001 macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm still going to get the JayBird X3. I loved the X2 (until my cat chewed the wire lol). Physical volume control is a must for me. Longer battery life too. I haven't tried the X3 yet, but I think the only thing AirPods had over the X2 was slightly better bass performance. Pricing is pretty much the same.
  10. carletonguy macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2009
    This doesn't actually look great... Apple owns Beats. So they cannibalized their own sales, but the real winner was Bose. Their segment of the market increased during this same time period. Not much to celebrate if you're Apple.

    This just points to a problem with the stagnant Beats lineup. Beats X will help, but the PowerBeats need a big overhaul to make them a more competitive sport / workout headphone (and just adding the W1 chip isn't enough), and the studio monitors need a big overhaul. The new Bose QC 35 is far superior to those Beats Studio Wireless cans. The new Bose SoundSports are great...much better than the PowerBeats.
  11. macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    I pre-ordered these the day they became available and love them! I've been hunting for a good pair of bluetooth earbuds but am so ecstatic that I could find them without the dumb cord that connects them (that sticks to a sweaty neck and comes out immediately when turning head while running/working out). Great job, Apple.
  12. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    That's a pretty difficult thing for me to admit, because I really didn't like or agree with the acquisition at the time, plus Dre's arrogant attitude about the whole affair gave me a rotten feeling.

    In hindsight though, what you say is absolutely the truth (appropriate username). Even if you think that they overpaid for Beats, the products that have come from a result of the purchase have already covered those initial costs.
  13. nfl46 macrumors 603

    Oct 5, 2008
    They're really good earphones. I have to give it to Apple - they did a great job. Of course with anything, there could be improvements. But, hey, they were laying the groundwork.
  14. appleguy123 macrumors 603


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    The Bose QC35 are basically perfect wireless headphones and they're $349. They also released new wireless earphones with a heart beat sensor but I'm not sure how well those are doing.
  15. bigjnyc macrumors 601


    Apr 10, 2008
    I really hate the fact that these dont fit my ears... They were the perfect wireless headphones for me, really loved everything about them (the lack of controls didnt bother me since i have an apple watch) and they sound great for my needs. But I had to return them because they came loose in my ear... If someone comes up with a nice solution like earhoox that fits in the case I may re-visit these.
  16. ChrisCW11 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2011
    It's not a nice product actually, not compared to other products out there. It looks like an old earPod design with a wang glued on it and a lot of early reviews finding it doesn't sit in the ear properly. Most people also haven't actually used one of these yet so whether its a nice product or not is debatable until it gets into more people's hands. If these sales continued 6 months from now, I will support the idea that this is quality product that people want.

    However I just don't see anybody outside of Apple's ecosystem buying this as I think there are better, cheaper and higher quality products out their that don't have the benefit of Apple's brand on them.
  17. bigjnyc macrumors 601


    Apr 10, 2008
    you're not allowed to say anything positive about Tim Cook around these parts.
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Impressive, While I'm not a fan of them, they seem to have generated a lot of interest. Its nice to see some good news like this. :)
  19. ChrisCW11 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2011
    What support do you have that Beats had anything to do with these AirPods? An old Steve Jobs era earPod design with bluetooth radio glued into it. Probably didn't even change the speaker part of them which Apple's headphones have always sounded bad. Apple even forced Beats to suppress the release date of Beat's own wireless earphones, why would Apple release both an Apple branded AND Beats branded product if they were actually sharing technology and design? Beats still seems to be a very separate entity from Apple and I don't think Apple has utilized their acquisition well in this respect, at least nothing about the AirPod's suggests Beats was actually involved in them.
  20. Iconoclysm macrumors 68000


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Micro-USB charging cable knocks off a full point for anything I look into these days. Airpods too, because I know damn well Apple is going to embrace USB Type C
  21. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    A quarter of all online sales within a month of releasing a brand-new product in a category they've never entered? Not much to celebrate?! By golly, you naysayers are incredibly deluded. Any other company would give their figurative right arm for sales like this.

    Let me absolutely assure you: if Microsoft had bought Beats and if Microsoft had released a wireless headphone that was even half as successful as this, you'd be the same person saying that Apple dropped the ball, and Cook has the foresight of a mole wearing a blindfold.

    These are staggering sales numbers.
  22. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    Yeah, they should add per-ear controls. Double tap left for Siri, double tap right for next track.
  23. ActionableMango, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017

    ActionableMango macrumors 604


    Sep 21, 2010
    This article discusses Apple patenting a collapsible headphone jack in order to make a thinner device but still include a headphone jack.

    What's interesting is that the user comments are about how Apple should just get rid of the headphone jack altogether and go wireless. And this was 6 years ago!

    And the device in question? An iPod, which is a device dedicated to music and therefore far more intertwined with headphones than an iPhone is.
  24. Iconoclysm macrumors 68000


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Beats' wireless earphones also include the W1 chip...not sharing technology? Hmm. As for sounding bad, nobody is saying that but you.
  25. 69Mustang macrumors 601


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    You've been reading my quotes from the Beat's threads.:D:p I've been preaching this from day one of the announcement.

    A lot of people based their feelings on the acquistion on things other than business relevant criteria. Beat's had highest brand recognition. Highest sales volume. Highest margins. Highest Profits. If I'm acquiring a business, that's the one to get.

    On topic: I don't even like BT headphones but I think the AirPods are going to be Apple's hit product.

Share This Page