AirPods shipments expected to double next year

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AirPods and case
But wireless charging could come sooner.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirPods shipments are expected to double next year as demand for one of Apple’s best accessories remains incredibly strong. Shipping times have already been reduced to just 1-3 days thanks to an improved assembly process.

When Apple decided the iPhone no longer needed a headphone jack, it launched wireless headphones unlike any other. AirPods offer effortless pairing, stable connectivity, and great sound. They also look good, and charge on the go.

AirPods are so good that for the longest time, they were sold out everywhere. Until August, six months after AirPods made their debut, customers had to wait six weeks for them to ship from the Apple online store. Now that wait is down to just 1-3 days.

AirPods shipments will double in 2018

The delay wasn’t solely attributed to strong demand. Manufacturing difficulties were also to blame for a lack of supply, but that’s no longer the case.

Reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that production has greatly increased since Apple improved its manufacturing process and added a new supplier. Kuo expects AirPods shipments to double next year as a result.

“We expect AirPods to remain one of the most popular Apple accessories in 2018, with shipments likely to rise 100% YoY to 26-28mn units next year,” reads his note to investors.

Chinese company Luxshare is Apple’s newest AirPods manufacturer. Until now, it has been helping Inventec meet its orders. In 2018, however, Luxshare could become Apple’s primary supplier, with Inventec picking up the scraps.

AirPods will be everywhere

AirPods are already easier to obtain, but with double the supply in 2018, Apple will be able to sell even more. The company doesn’t disclose how many AirPods it sells — they are lumped into its “Other” category — and that’s sure to rise even higher next year.