Apple could sell a massive 82 million AirPods in 2020

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They AirPods Pro fit in their case like nothing ever happened.
AirPods go from strength to strength.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

AirPod sales continue to soar, although Apple is reportedly starting to lose a bit of ground in marketshare due to the massive number of other companies now making their own wireless earbuds.

Based on data from Counterpoint Research, reported by Bloomberg, Apple could sell 82 million units of the wireless earbuds this year.

That compares to 61 million units last year. However, unlike 2019, when Apple made up half of the market, this year it’s still leading — but down to around 35% of the overall market. The report does not reveal the ratio between AirPods Pro and regular AirPods.

“The low-to-mid end segment including Chinese brands and U.S. makers such as JLab is taking away share from the premium market,” Counterpoint analyst Liz Lee told Bloomberg.

Strength to strength: The rise of Apple’s AirPods

This dynamic shouldn’t be too surprising for anyone who follows Apple history and, well, the way hit products generally work. Just like what happened with the iPhone, Apple establishes an early advantage by creating something new and unique. After that, rivals start to borrow the Apple formula and release their own versions at lower price points.

The Counterpoint Research numbers are just below projections made previously by Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. Ives said that he expected Apple to sell 85 million to 90 million AirPods this year. Still, considering the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain and user spending, either of these numbers if phenomenal.

According to rumors, the AirPods are due to get their next big update in 2021. But they could receive a big sales boost later this year if Apple, as rumored, stops shipping earbuds in the box of new iPhones starting with the iPhone 12. This could prompt many people to opt for AirPods rather than using the packaged earbuds they get with their new handsets.

Have you bought a new pair of AirPods in 2020? Which company do you think makes the best (and best value) wireless earbuds? Let us know in the comments below.