Apple AirPods totally dominate sales of wireless Bluetooth earbuds

“So far, 2017 has been a great year for headphones. Through July, U.S. dollar sales and average prices increased 22 percent, and 18 percent, respectively, over the same period a year ago. A number of new and interesting devices have also debuted this year,” Ben Arnold writes for NPD. “Totally wireless earbuds represent a new segment that has come out of the emergence of Bluetooth. Bragi and Doppler Labs were among the first companies making totally wireless earbuds, but the entrance of tech titans like Apple and Samsung (but mostly Apple) has led to a spike in unit sales in the segment.”

“More than 900,000 totally wireless headphone units were sold in the U.S. since the start of the year, according to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service,” Arnold writes. “Some products have a loftier goal – making the wireless earbud a computing device for the ear. Since launching in December, Apple’s AirPods have accounted for 85 percent of totally wireless headphone dollar sales in the U.S., according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.”

iPhone 7 with Apple's AirPods
iPhone 7 with Apple’s AirPods

“With a use case centering on frictionless access to Siri and other tasks initiated by voice, AirPods really act as an extension of the iPhone. Apple’s path to leadership in the category is helped by disruptive pricing, brand resonance, and excitement over the W1 chip, which significantly eases Bluetooth connections to iOS and Mac devices,” Arnold writes. “Apple’s early domination of the category will continue to challenge competing brands entering the totally wireless market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Total domination.

You can have our AirPods when you pry them out of our cold, dead ears.

The killer feature for Apple’s iPhone 8: AirPods – May 30, 2017
Early adopters adore their Apple AirPods – May 22, 2017
Apple AirPods are proliferating rapidly – April 6, 2017
I love my Apple AirPods – February 6, 2017
AirPods are Apple’s most Apple-like product in years – they just work – January 13, 2017
Apple’s AirPods grab 26% of wireless headphone market share – January 11, 2017
The success of Airpods could add $10 billion to Apple’s market cap – January 10, 2017
Apple AirPods are imperfect, but surprisingly awesome – January 4, 2017
Canadian Reviewer reviews Apple AirPods: ‘Very cool’ – December 28, 2016
I really hate how much I love Apple’s AirPods – December 28, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook tours New York Stock Exchange, calls AirPods ‘a runaway success’ – December 28, 2016
How to find out when Apple Stores have AirPods in stock – December 28, 2016
AirPods kick off Apple’s battle for our ears – December 23, 2016
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


    1. Nick, did you even read the words above before complaining!?

      It says, “More than 900,000 totally wireless headphone units”.

      And it says, “Apple’s AirPods have accounted for 85 percent of totally wireless headphone dollar sales in the U.S.”

      and, “…domination of the category…”

      How the heck do you turn that into “failing”?

      1. More than 900000 is a major miss. Typical for NPD. This is a guesstimate and lacks input from Apple. It’s kind of like saying the population of the United Stares is more than 1,000,000. Accurate, but way off.

        1. Michael, I don’t understand your point at all.

          NPDs accuracy is not relevant to my point — that ol’ Nick there launched into his petulant whining about Apple “failing” in a way that is UTTERLY unsupported by what the articles says… that is, in fact, the OPPOSITE of what the article says.

          1. Projecting much John? Apple is held to higher standards than any other company. The fact is that they’ve failed to meet demand for AirPods nearly one year after revealing them. You can both dominate a market, and blow it by leaving billions on the table by not meeting demand. Apple isn’t about to go bankrupt because of it, but its symptomatic of dysfunction at the management level and its not the first time.

  1. I have bought several bluetooth headphones over the years and all of them have had major pitfalls.
    Most didn’t last that long. Either stopped working or the battery started to lose charge quickly.
    The best was the Jaybird X2. Great battery and very robust. The downside was the sound was poor. I could never get a good fit so they sometimes fell out and the bass was lacking,
    The AirPods on the other hand have fantastic sound. Music sounds exactly what I would expect. This has been a huge issue for me and I am astounded at the sound quality from this device. They stay in the ear during running etc. Battery life is great and having the charger unit is very useful. The only complaint is the lack of physical volume and playback controls but I get why Apple did not put those in. The AirPods are going to be my choice of bluetooth headphones for a long time.

  2. AirPods, just like all Bluetooth accessories, is a bag of hurt. One more thing to recharge, lose, or damage.

    An elegant solution to wireless headphones would have been to make the wire detachable from the earpieces and to retain the good old reliable 3.5 mm audio jack. Then you don’t need a stupid charging case and when you absolutely must go wire free, simply detach the lead.

    The problem with Bluetooth is: it eats batteries, the audio fidelity is poor, the latency is poor, the time wasted trying to sync is annoying, and all total the cost is several times higher than the equivalent wired solution.

    Airpods are a solution to nothing. Every person needs a headphone that fits, and a technical device that just works. Airpods don’t cut it for me, and if you walk down the street of any major city in the world, you will see that no Apple headphone is the preferred choice of the majority. What sucks more than anything is that Apple’s greedy profit grab — removing headphone jacks in an attempt to cash in on outrageous Lightning licensing fees for accessories– is being pushed by dumbass tech bloggers as a universal answer. No, it isn’t. It represents a big corporate gorilla pushing its market power to restrict your choice and excise more money from your wallet.

    By the way, we do charge and use headphone jacks in our iPhone 6S and 6 Plus phones regularly, both on home stereo and in the car. We are not interested in another goddamn overpriced Apple adapter or another overpriced half assed chargeable wireless gizmo to attempt to replace the capability that Apple used to offer users.

    Here’s one more rant for y’all: Apple remove Toslink audio output from its Mac Pros. Yet another example of dumbing down the capabilities of Apple gear to meet stupid fashion and profit goals. The more Apple acts like this, the less inclined I am to spend money on Apple’s overpriced and underpowered products.

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