Which company will overtake Uber
Just three years after the market launch, Apple is doing as much with its wireless earbuds as Spotify, Twitter, Snap & Shopify put together.
More than three years ago, Apple presented its new wireless headphones to the public for the first time: "With AirPods, Apple is reinventing wireless headphones," the boys & girls from Cuptertino called their press release in September 2016 in the usual Apple-typical manner.
Since then, the business with the small, often ridiculed earplugs has grown rapidly. Although the AirPods are not exactly cheap, depending on the generation and country, with prices between 150 and almost 250 euros / dollars, the headphone category has blossomed into one of the group's most important growth segments.
According to estimates by industry analysts, Apple sold around 15 million devices at $ 150 each in the first year after its market launch in December 2016 - after all, this results in sales of $ 2.25 billion or one percent of the Apple iPhone business of $ 215 billion.
In 2018, Apple already sold 35 million pairs of headphones - an increase in sales of 5.25 billion dollars or 2.4 percent of iPhone sales. In 2019, the iPhone company finally brought an estimated 60 million AirPods to women and men, priced at $ 200 for second-generation devices and $ 250 for AirPods Pro.
Assuming that all three categories are evenly distributed, Apple was able to generate $ 12 billion last year with its wireless headphones alone - that corresponds to almost five percent of total sales.
To clarify: After only three years, Airpods sales are already as large as the music streaming company Spotify, the short message service Twitter, the Snapchat provider Snap and the e-commerce start-up Shopify combined:
Source: Kevin Rooke
If the question remains of how valuable the AirPods division is, it would be an independent company: As Canadian tech observer Kevin Rooke recently calculated on his blog, Apple has a market value of almost 1.4 trillion dollars at the moment. Sales ratio of five, based on total sales of just under $ 214 billion in 2019 (as of September 28, see PDF).
So that means: The AirPods business alone would already be worth a good $ 60 billion - calculated conservatively. Because that wouldn't even include the unbelievable growth rate: Last year alone, AirPods sales rose by a whopping 128 percent compared to 2018. Measured by the three-digit plus, Apple should already generate more sales with its headphones in 2020 than the transport service provider Uber.
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