Apple decreases AirPods production due to sales slowdown

According to a new report from Nikkei Asia, Apple is decreasing AirPods production by 25% to 30% due to a slowdown in sales as a result of increased competition in the wireless earphone market.

Noise-canceling shootout:AirPods Pro are packed with audio innovation to deliver superior sound and an immersive noise-canceling experience.
Apple’s current AirPods Pro are packed with audio innovation to deliver superior sound and an immersive noise-canceling experience.

AirPods and AirPods Pro are expected to be upgraded this year, which Apple hopes will “stimulate sales,” according to the report.

Nikkei Asia:

Apple now expects to make between 75 million and 85 million units for 2021, compared with a previous production forecast of 110 million units.

“The most significant order reduction is for the second quarter toward the start of the third quarter,” said one of the people familiar with the matter. “The levels of inventory [in warehouses] and in-store stocks of AirPods are currently high … and demand is not as strong as expected.”

MacDailyNews Take: The report does not stipulate which AirPods model(s) are seeing production order decreases, but, if we had to guess, we’d guess its the entry-level AirPods model, not AirPods Pro, are seeing lower sales. Apple is expected to release new a AirPods model (third generation) with a shorter-stem design, similar to the current AirPods Pro, but at a lower price as AirPods (3rd gen.) won’t offer active noise reduction.


  1. The competition is cheaper in most cases, and audio for “pods” is of highly personalized, What sounds good to one person, does not to another, or is just Ok and not worth $200 or so. While its easy to say the “Pro’s” are out selling the older models, without some actual sales figures, who knows other than Apple..

  2. A few factors: Lots of kids with hand-me-down iPhones end up being $40 online China-made earbuds are that are “good enough.” Others don’t want the stigma of “Oh, AirPod user…”

    Apple needs to address the pricing, as it’s too high (not including AirPods Pro), and provide 3 colors. White, Black and Space Gray (something neutral). If they did a color move, many more would purchase, as they are hidden more and don’t scream “I purchased expensive AirPods.”

    If they had an entry level sub-$100 that would also really help the cause with the younger generation… Give them a color or two and sub-$100 and AirPods will have zero issues dominating long-term.

  3. I think this is also a mix of market saturation and waiting for the next model. AirPods’ price should be lower but the Pros are in line with others so I don’t see them going down much.

    Never heard the AirPods and don’t know anyone with has a pair, but in a weird inversion of tech my wife, sister and son all have the Pros (while I don’t) and love them. Now my 80 year old Mother is wanting a pair!!

    I’ve used the wife’s and enjoyed them for exercise and yard work but have stuck with my old Powerbeats that both stay in place and sound better.

    BUT when the new Pros ship I plan to get a pair if they offer a color other than Model A(pple) White …to go with my brand new blue iPhone Mini.

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