Apple VP Explains How AirPods’ Popularity Spread ‘Like Wildfire’

Greg Josqiak, Apple’s VP of product marketing, recently talked with Wired about the runaway success of AirPods.

Joswiak says that the company did not expect its most recent headphones, the AirPods Pro, to take off as quickly as they did. “It was almost like wildfire how quickly it spread … It’s done even better than we could ever imagine,” he said

According to Joswiak, Apple has been thinking about a completely wireless future for a long time, and wireless headphones became an obvious step for the iPhone.

“(We) had a vision for our wireless future for many years. We had this incredible wireless product, the iPhone. And yet, what began to feel odd is when you saw somebody using wired headphones,” he explained. “Right then you thought, why would you attach the wire?”

The design and fit of the AirPods align with Apple’s EarPods, and the company spent years researching how to provide a fit that would work for as much of the population as possible. With AirPods Pro, the Cupertino company took it even further, and, with the inclusion of three different interchangeable tips, the headphones now fit “an overwhelming percentage of the worldwide population.”

“We had done work with Stanford to 3D-scan hundreds of different ears and ear styles and shapes in order to make a design that would work as a one-size solution across a broad set of the population,” Joswiak says. “With AirPods Pro, we took that research further – studied more ears, more ear types. And that enabled us to develop a design that, along with the three different tip sizes, works across an overwhelming percentage of the worldwide population.”

As far as Apple’s vision thing goes, Neil Cybart, founder of Apple analyst firm Above Avalon told Wired that “Different parts of the body have different real estate: our wrist, our ears, our eyes. Those are valuable pieces of real estate for a company like Apple to put a product on.

Cybart added: “So you can’t look just at AirPods, it’s the connection to other products that’s key. We’re going to see Apple come up with something for the eyes, and that trifecta in which you’re addressing each part of the body – that’s powerful. And it has implications that could go on for 10 years or more.”

The full report is over at Wired — it’s well worth the read.