Gene Munster Predicts Apple Will Eventually Earn More From AirPods Than Apple Watch

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Despite selling for $159, considerably less than the Apple Watch at between $269 and $1,499, longtime Apple analyst turned venture capitalist Gene Munster believes AirPods will be "bigger than the Apple Watch" over the next decade.


Munster predicts that AirPods will contribute "about the same amount of revenue" to Apple's pocket as the Apple Watch by the company's 2022 fiscal year. He also predicts that AirPods will have an average price of $200 by then, as the product shifts towards what he calls "augmented audio."
AirPods: Bigger Than Apple Watch. Over the next 10 years, we anticipate that AirPods will be bigger than the Apple Watch as the product evolves from simple wireless headphones to a wearable, augmented audio device. While both AirPods and Apple Watch should continue to grow, we see AirPods contributing about the same amount of revenue as Apple Watch by FY22. We expect the AirPods ASP to increase from $159 today to $200 in FY22 as the product shifts to augmented audio.
Apple doesn't disclose AirPods or Apple Watch sales in its quarterly earnings results. Both products are instead grouped into its "Other Products" category, alongside sales of iPods, Apple TVs, Beats products, and accessories. Any revenue or sales numbers that circulate around are purely estimates.

Apple reported $2.87 billion revenue from "Other Products" last quarter, a 31 percent increase from $2.18 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Early last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the response to AirPods has been "great," with the wireless earphones remaining hard to come by.

"Demand for AirPods significantly exceeds supply, and growth in Beats products has also been very strong," said Cook. "In fact, when we combine Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones, our revenues from wearable products in the last four quarters was the size of a Fortune 500 company."

Despite launching over six months ago, AirPods continue to have a 6-week shipping estimate for orders placed on Apple's website. Some third-party resellers have occasionally had them in stock with earlier delivery.

Apple analyst Neil Cybart recently said Apple is "underpricing" the Apple Watch and AirPods in an effort to bring new users into its ecosystem. He said this pricing strategy was "unimaginable" ten years ago, when Apple was often accused of pricing products artificially high--aka the so-called "Apple Tax."

Cybart said a strong case could have been made for Apple to price AirPods at $249, or even $299. By selling them for $159, he thinks Apple has "removed all available oxygen from the wireless headphone space," and forced other wireless headphone makers to cut their own prices in order to remain competitive.

AirPods have been well received by early adopters, achieving a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate in a recent survey conducted by Experian and market research firm Creative Strategies.

Article Link: Gene Munster Predicts Apple Will Eventually Earn More From AirPods Than Apple Watch
 
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William Gates

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2007
347
932
I have AirPods and they are awesome. But to go against what Munster is saying, the AirPods have encouraged me more than anything else to get an Apple Watch. I've had/am having a tough time waiting for series 3 this fall, but I'll be one of the first to preorder.
 

omihek

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2014
529
1,603
Salt Lake City, UT
Seriously how can I get a job doing what these analysts do? We predict the iPod Touch will come in 7 colors next year! Apple will almost definitely maybe probably not make an Apple Television like we've all been saying for the last 10 years! The new Apple Car will feature CarPlay! Ok now pay me $120,000 a year.
 

wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
3,854
571
Revenue ought to exceed the watches in a year or less. AirPods serve an entirely different market that is much larger than the watch market.

The only possible catch here is what will happen with the Watch when sub 7nm processes are shipping. When that happens one will be able to pack an incredible amount of functionality into a watch and not suffer battery problems.
 
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carlhancock

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2006
7
36
Except for the large amount of people that can't wear them because of their uncomfortable design. If they eventually offer different designs, it could be huge.
Out of curiosity have you actually used the AirPods for any length of time?

I own a ton of headphones and I absolutely hate earbuds because they hurt my ears. Sitting next to me right now in my office are a pair of Seinnheiser open back w/amp, a pair of Master & Dynamics, a pair of Sony MDR-1000X (my airplane headphones), and a pair of Audio-Technica's w/amp. All over ear headphones because earbuds kill my ears.

But do you know what I use all day here at my office? The AirPods. Why? Because I can wear them all day long and not even notice they are in my ears.

Everyone has different ears. But i've found the AirPods to be the most comfortable headphones i've ever used. They can't beat any of the over ear headphones I have for pure audio quality, but they don't need to. For all day use while sitting at my desk, talking on my phone, etc. the comfort they provide me outweighs the audiophile audio quality of my other headphones that I own.

I still use my other headphones. I just can't wear them all day long like I can the AirPods. My ears would be numb. The AirPods I will literally forget they are in my ears while going about my daily routine at work.
 

LordQ

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Sep 22, 2012
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Makes me wonder what advancements will AirPods 2 bring -excluding better battery life-.
 
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_techquest

macrumors newbie
Apr 19, 2017
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4
Atlanta, GA
Great points but both the AirPods and Apple Watch are introduced to be Apple's answer to making tech more personal. My intuition says that the Augmented Audio experience will come to both the Watch and AirPods with equal force (one after the other, per Apple's standards of implementation). I have had over 25 ear surgeries due to an inner-ear tumor that has left me without an ear drum and deaf in my right ear (with the exception to conductive hearing via the bone which transmits a muffled version of what I'm hearing over to my good ear...) Those surgeries have altered the shape of my ear in a way that makes it impossible for me to wear Ear/AirPods as they're normally seen. I have to wear the EarPods upside-down and wrapped around the backs of my ears for them to stay in, which they do 90% of the time. Not fun.
I would love to see a design alteration that allows for non-traditional ear shapes!
 

Eggtastic

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2009
771
452
NJ
The apple watch needs a redesign. I want to love it, but get turned off by the stubby design (thick body, bezels). I put one on, it feels premium but I then check out the samsung and others which look a lot better to me.

I really feel apple should have a longer thinner screen like the samsung gear fit s. Will it happen? Probably not, but one can dream.
 

Where is the new Mac Pro

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2017
4
2
New York, NY
I predict AirPods sales will be larger than Mac sales... Creative Pros are now abandoning Apple in favor of Adobe running on cheaper Windows boxes... 9 out of the last 10 large agencies I have freelanced for in the NYC area have switched to PC.
 

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,394
Interesting analysis there. I have to disagree however. I've yet to see a single person wearing them in London, and rush hour here isn't exactly deprived of people wearing headphones. The other issue they have to get around is you look like a t**t wearing them.
 
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polterbyte

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2012
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Brazil
Well, first they have to start selling them, of course. And in order to sell, them, they have to have them in stock. As soon as they figure out the apparent rocket science behind that logistic conundrum, it's possible it will sell very well. But until then, this is just an exercise in imagination, I believe.
 

djeeyore25

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2014
413
1,358
New York City
I would really have a hard time buying AirPods for $249 or $299. For that price they'd better be waterproof, noise cancelling, have an extremely long battery life, and sound twice as good as the AirPods do now. On the flip side, at that price they'd be more readily available.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,226
3,403
Over the next 10 years, we anticipate that AirPods will be bigger than the Apple Watch as the product evolves from simple wireless headphones to a wearable, augmented audio device.
I'm not convinced that Apple is going to build these out into a wearable augmented audio device. They have a history of keeping things fairly simple-- they won't become a competitor to Dash.
 
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TMRJIJ

macrumors 68040
Dec 12, 2011
3,246
5,413
South Carolina, United States
Some people just aren’t watch people. IMO wearing a watch (regardless of how awesome the Apple Watch is) is a habit. I got to make an effort to remember to wear it and take it off. It doesn’t have a niche yet where I know in the back of mind that I’ll be pissed off if I forget it one day.
Earphones however are my life though. AirPods are refining something that I subconsciously do everyday. Music in general has a wider canvas.
 
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dojoman

macrumors 68000
Apr 8, 2010
1,561
553
Out of curiosity have you actually used the AirPods for any length of time?

I own a ton of headphones and I absolutely hate earbuds because they hurt my ears. Sitting next to me right now in my office are a pair of Seinnheiser open back w/amp, a pair of Master & Dynamics, a pair of Sony MDR-1000X (my airplane headphones), and a pair of Audio-Technica's w/amp. All over ear headphones because earbuds kill my ears.

But do you know what I use all day here at my office? The AirPods. Why? Because I can wear them all day long and not even notice they are in my ears.

Everyone has different ears. But i've found the AirPods to be the most comfortable headphones i've ever used. They can't beat any of the over ear headphones I have for pure audio quality, but they don't need to. For all day use while sitting at my desk, talking on my phone, etc. the comfort they provide me outweighs the audiophile audio quality of my other headphones that I own.

I still use my other headphones. I just can't wear them all day long like I can the AirPods. My ears would be numb. The AirPods I will literally forget they are in my ears while going about my daily routine at work.
Same here. Airpods are extremely comfortable that sometime I forget I'm wearing them. I wonder people say they don't fit are just trolling.
 
Makes me wonder what advancements will AirPods 2 bring -excluding better battery life-.
Well by FY22 as he's predicting, it's probably going to be AirPods 4 or 5.

But whether version 2, 3, 4 or 5, the universal advancements should almost always be:
  • better quality sound
  • better, more comfortable fit
  • longer battery life
Somewhere in there, there's probably also:
  • colors (or see colorware's options now)
  • changes in general shapes so that one can tell newer model from old (mostly for the "have to have latest & greatest so other people can tell" crowd)
  • improvements to water resistance
  • adoption of newer Bluetooth standards
  • faster charging
 
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jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2009
4,989
1,966
Upstate NY
Well, first they have to start selling them, of course. And in order to sell, them, they have to have them in stock. As soon as they figure out the apparent rocket science behind that logistic conundrum, it's possible it will sell very well. But until then, this is just an exercise in imagination, I believe.
Exactly.
When I decide to buy them, they're out of stock.
When I decide I don't need another pair of bluetooth headphones, they're in stock.
 

hanser

macrumors regular
Aug 29, 2013
234
168
Interesting analysis there. I have to disagree however. I've yet to see a single person wearing them in London, and rush hour here isn't exactly deprived of people wearing headphones. The other issue they have to get around is you look like a t**t wearing them.
Interesting. I was recently in London for 4 days and saw at least 2 people with them.

And the aesthetics are simply opinion and habit. Why should a dangling string from the ears look better than 2 short white stubs? You are just not yet used to the latter.
 
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