By any standards, the AirPods have been a staggering success. Wired has a great piece on how it happened.
AirPods were initially positioned modestly as an iPhone 7 and 7 Plus accessory, one that solved the thorny issue of dropping the headphone jack from the iPhone. The most recent iteration – 2019’s AirPods Pro, which boasts a considerably improved design and, crucially, active noise-cancelling – was not announced on stage at all. “It was almost like wildfire how quickly it spread,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, says. “It’s done even better than we could ever imagine.” Estimates suggest that in 2019 Apple sold 35 million pairs of AirPods. Though Apple never shares its figures of individual product sales, in the company’s most recent earnings call for the first quarter of 2020, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the “demand for AirPods continues to be phenomenal”. There are a number of reasons for the popularity. Unusually for the Cupertino company, Apple came in with an aggressive price point for each version of the AirPods. Once it added key features such as noise-cancelling and wireless charging, the Pros became a yardstick in the wireless earphone category.
Check It Out: How AirPods Became Such a Success