“AirPods are Apple’s surprise hit product of 2016. While their simplicity may evoke comparisons to previous Apple blockbusters like iPod, AirPods are something very different,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “We are witnessing a new chapter unfolding at Apple in which Jony Ive and the Industrial Design group press down on the wearables accelerator. While Apple Watch wages a war for our wrists, AirPods are kicking off Apple’s battle for our ears.”

“Every pair of AirPods sold and worn represents another set of ears ready for Siri. In some ways, Apple has a head start as the company has been selling hundreds of millions of wired EarPods each year. In addition, Beats gives Apple instant access to parts of the headphone market not addressed by AirPods,” Cybart writes. “My suspicion is that this difference in target markets is one reason why Apple has given Beats headphones a bit of independence since the acquisition. However, the message is clear: AirPods are Apple’s flagship weapon in its quest for our ears.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait for biometric monitoring to come to AirPods!

Of interest: Apple Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”

Apple’s patent abstract: A monitoring system that can be placed proximate to the head or ear of a user is disclosed. According to one embodiment, the monitoring system can be used with headphones, earbuds or headsets. The monitoring system can, for example, be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities. The positioning of the monitoring system can also facilitate sensing of other user characteristics (e.g., biometric data), such as temperature, perspiration and heart rate. The monitoring system can also be used to control a an electronic device. In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures. More info here.

SEE ALSO:
Yahoo’s Pogue reviews Apple AirPods: Far more elegant and slick than others – December 23, 2016
Wall Street Journal’s Best Wireless Earbuds: AirPods, ‘Apple’s best new product in years’ – December 22, 2016
Apple AirPods are very cool, but I am returning them – here’s why – December 22, 2016
Marathoner tests Apple AirPods on 10K run – December 19, 2016
Rolling Stone reviews Apple AirPods: ‘Surprisingly awesome’ – December 14, 2016
Apple AirPods could arrive in stores as early as November 17th – November 10, 2016
Apple’s AirPods remain on track to launch this year, sources say – November 2, 2016
Apple AirPods may be delayed into 2017 – November 1, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Survey: 12% of U.S. consumers say they’ll buy Apple AirPods; extra $3 billion in revenue – September 29, 2016
Bill Atkinson: Why Apple’s AirPods are the best place for Siri – September 28, 2016
Apple’s response to Amazon Echo: AirPods – September 20, 2016
Apple’s AirPods make Google Glass look even more ridiculous (if that’s even possible) – September 19, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook: AirPods won’t fall out of your ears (with video) – September 14, 2016
Why Silicon Valley is all wrong about Apple’s AirPods – September 17, 2016
What AirPods can tell us about Apple’s future – September 12, 2016
Hands-on with Apple’s new AirPods: Stayed in my ears, sounded awesome – September 10, 2016
Apple and a truly wireless future: AirPods are just the start – September 10, 2016
Whoever makes the first AirPods strap is going to get rich – September 8, 2016
Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Dan King,” and “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]