The Success of AirPods and Apple's Product Strategy

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But fast-forward to 2019 and, somehow, the £159-a-pair little pods have transformed into a bona fide status symbol.

I’m not so sure AirPods are a status symbol, and definitely not a millennial one (The word millennial isn’t even mentioned in this article except the headline). But the AirPods are a great example of Apple’s product strategy: Enter a market with crappy products with a better designed, easy-to-use product, and reap the rewards.

AirPods Have Become One of Apple's Most Important Products

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AirPods were somewhat derided when Apple first released them towards the end of 2016.  They looked silly, and surely they were going to fall out of your ear? As it happens, they have been a huge success, selling millions of units. Lance Ulanoff posted his take on the accessory’s success over on Medium, and it is well worth a read. He highlights how central AirPods could be to Apple’s strategy going forward.

Then, somewhere along the way, I started noticing other people wearing AirPods. At first it was just the occasional sighting, like spotting a green parrot in Brooklyn. However, I remember the moment when I stood in a New York City subway car and noticed more than a half dozen people wearing AirPods. Apple’s oddball product had broken through.

CES - Hyper's New Wireless AirPods Charging Case

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At CES 2019 on Wednesday, Hyper was showing off the new version of their AirPods charging case. Due to be made available imminently, the case completely encompasses your current AirPods charging case, and contains a Lightning connector in the bottom. Simply place your existing AirPods charger inside the Hyper case and lay that down on a Qi pad (or mat, like the one coming in Q2 shown in the picture here) and, boom, your AirPods wirelessly charge. Retail price is said to be just US$20.

CES – Hyper’s New Wireless AirPods Charging Case

Stylish New Leather AirPods Case

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AirPods are hugely popular but, let’s be honest, the charging case is hardly the most chic item Apple has ever released. Accessories maker NOMAD may have solved that problem. On Thursday, they are going to release the Rugged Case – a fully leather outer case for AirPods. Available in brown or black, you can put the AirPod charging case intro the Rugged Case, providing extra protection and a little bit more style. Priced at $29.95, the Rugged Case is available to pre-order now. Distribution will commence on Thursday, 15 November.

Stylish New Leather AirPods Case

HYPER Intros Wireless Charging Adapter for AirPods

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Apple still hasn’t released its wireless charging case for Apple’s AirPods, so HYPER stepped up with its Wireless Charger Adapter. The adapter slides on to your AirPods case and adds Qi charging support. It works with any 5W Qi-compliant charger, and gives your AirPods case a full charge in 1.5 hours. The HYPER Wireless Charger Adapter for Apple AirPods is priced at US$49.99 and is available now at the company’s website.

HYPER Intros Wireless Charging Adapter for AirPods