Apple Dominates Global Revenue for ‘Earwear’, Thanks to AirPods

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple sold around 120 million pairs of AirPods in 2021, making it the global leader in tech “earwear.”

The numbers are estimates from outside analysts since Apple doesn’t report sales numbers for AirPods. Instead, the company consolidates AirPods into its “Wearables, Home and Accessories” product category.

“Wearables, Home and Accessories,” is the fastest-growing line item in Apple’s quarterly filings. Revenue from the product category grew 245% to $38 billion between 2016 and 2021, thanks in no small part to AirPod.

In fact, estimates from IDC and Bloomberg Intelligence indicate that AirPods make up half of Apple’s revenue from the “Wearables, Home and Accessories” category. Investment bank Piper Sandler Cos. estimates that 3 in 4 teens in the U.S. own a pair of Apple’s wireless earbuds.

Apple unveiled AirPods Pro 2, the second generation of its premium wireless earbuds, earlier this month. They are slated to launch Friday, September 23, with Apple’s new H2 chip, improved audio quality, stronger ANC, more battery life, and a redesigned charging case.

Apple dominated global wireless earbuds sales, but many would argue that there are plenty of better-sounding options out there (not to mention, cheaper ones).

Sure, AirPods arguably have better Active Noise Cancellation (the base model AirPods don’t even have that, though) and Transparency Mode, but what really pushes AirPods sales is the fact that they just work with iPhones and all other Apple products. They have that fabled “Apple magic.”

AirPods automatically connect to your iPhone the moment you flip the case open. Thanks to Apple’s proprietary implementation of Bluetooth, AirPods offer unparalleled compatibility with Apple devices — to the point that many iPhone owners would sooner just buy AirPods than look into alternatives that might not work as well.

AirPods also come with Find My integration, which is a godsend for these tiny devices that people lose on the regular.

Apple has been able to turn AirPods into a staple for iPhone owners, impressively ousting the wired EarPods the company used to include (for free) with every iPhone for years. The feat is further proof of Apple CEO Tim Cook being a savant of vertical integration.

Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 are set to begin deliveries and hit shelves on Friday. Click here to pre-order yours today.