Why it matters: When it comes to truly wireless earphones, Apple is leading the way. That’s according to a new report that claims shipments of the company’s AirPods are expected to double to 60 million units in 2019.
Citing “people familiar with” Apple’s production plans, Bloomberg writes the increased shipments have been driven by a “much higher” than expected demand for the company’s new AirPods Pro, which launched last month.
The publication adds that the high demand “is pushing Apple’s assembly partners against capacity and technical constraints,” adding that multiple suppliers are competing for the business of manufacturing the AirPods Pro, though some are still building up the technical proficiency.
It’s not just the $249 Pros that have boosted shipments this year. Apple revealed its second-generation $199 AirPods back in March, which improve on the predecessors with the H1 chip, 50 percent more talk time, and “Hey Siri” support.
With Microsoft and Google not releasing their wireless earbuds until next year, it’s clear sailing for Apple to dominate the sector this holiday season, as long as production can meet demand—there’s already a two to three week wait time for the AirPods Pro on Apple’s website, and it’s the same story for many US retailers. Better move fast if you intend to buy some as a Christmas gift.
While the AirPods Pro feature the likes of noise-canceling tech, Transparency mode, and better sound quality than their predecessors, Consumer Reports argues that Samsung’s cheaper ($130) Galaxy Buds have them beat when it comes to audio.