“Look to your left. Look to your right. If you’re on the sidewalk, a subway, a train, or your dorm couch; at a WeWork, an airport, a construction site, or an open-plan office, there are almost certainly little white sticks nearby poking out of someone’s head,” Jon Wilde writes for GQ. “Apple’s AirPods have slowly and all at once taken over America’s ears.”
“One industry analyst estimated last winter that up to 16 million AirPods were sold in 2018—and predicted that Apple could sell 55 million this year, and up to 110 million in 2020,” Wilde writes. “The numbers seem to insinuate that AirPods might be Apple’s best-selling product.”
MacDailyNews Note: No. Apple sold 217.72 million iPhone units in 2018 alone.
“If you have a pair (as I do), you probably swear by them (as I do). If you don’t, you’re probably wondering why everyone got the memo and you didn’t. Particularly because, back when AirPods launched two-plus years ago (with the iPhone 7—miss u home button), they were mildly polarizing,” Wilde writes. “I asked Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, why he thought the AirPods at first left everyone looking like a puppy staring at a butterfly.”
“‘I think this was common on the initial reaction to the AirPods—it’s a reaction based on an academic understanding of them, rather than a practical daily understanding of them,’ said Ive. ‘What we tend to focus on are those attributes that are easy to talk about, and just because we talk about them doesn’t mean that they’re the important attributes. All that means is they’re the ones that are easy to talk about,'” Wilde writes. “We’ve had 17 years with white cords dangling from our ears, and AirPods look like someone’s run up and snipped ’em with scissors. I know I felt sheepish the first time I walked out the door, AirPods dangling from my lobes. I was A Dude Who Bought Those Apple Earbuds.”
“But AirPods have also altered the expectations of how increasingly complex headphones and intensely complex smartphones should work together, on your behalf. They’ve done what no other Bluetooth headphones ever had: make Bluetooth not suck (assuming you have an iPhone)” Wilde writes. “This is, I think, the reason for the slow path to everywhereness that Apple’s AirPods have taken… They may be the best-selling product Apple makes right now [They’re not; iPhone is. – MDN Ed.], but they’re also the ones that most require word-of-mouth, or a leap of faith.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Actually, the product that Apple makes that “most require[s] word-of-mouth, or a leap of faith” has been the same for 35 years: The Macintosh.
But, nice article, anyway.
Of course, the reason why AirPods took a while to catch on (besides Apple, as usual, not having anywhere near enough supply for – seemingly – ever) was the typical mocking garbage that went viral due to the illogical Apple-haters of the world who, despite routinely being proven wrong, continue to hope against hope that Apple’s next product or service won’t be adopted by hundreds of millions of users. For example:
NFL season begins in two days pic.twitter.com/7vbZjcgIAN
— Scott Stein (@jetscott) September 7, 2016
Who’s laughing now?
As for the AirPods looking alien: Tape a pair of wires on the ends of each and you’ll see that they look very much like the type of earphones that everyone is very used to seeing by now (which, for those who remember, we weren’t used to seeing before iPod – people thought those looked “alien,” too). We’ll all get used to the lack of wires soon enough. — MacDailyNews, September 14, 2016
AirPods with Wireless Charging Case delivery date quickly slips into April – March 20, 2019
What we know about the H1 chip in Apple’s new AirPods – March 20, 2019
Apple’s new, 2nd-gen. AirPods offer lower latency for mobile gaming – March 20, 2019
Apple reveals second generation AirPods with new Apple-designed H1 chip – March 20, 2019
Apple reinvents the wireless headphone with AirPods – September 7, 2016