Apple’s AirPods shipments will double to an estimated 26-28 million units year-over-year in 2018, due to the continued strong demand, says KGI Securities Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
We believe demand for AirPods has been strong, and note that the shipping time of the product on Apple’s official shopping website has shortened to 1-3 days, mainly thanks to an improved assembly process and increased capacity from Luxshare as the new assembler […] 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.
Apple does not break down sales of individual accessories, such as AirPods. Instead, the Cupertino firm groups the wireless earbuds into an “Other Products” category, which also includes the Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats, iPods, and other accessories. Kuo’s prediction, included in a research note to his clients, implies the company will sell 13-14 million units in 2017.
Luxshare, based in China, could become the main producer of the wireless earbuds next year, receiving a greater number of orders from Apple than co-supplier Inventec, after increasing its production capacity.
Apple’s AirPods were released in December 2016, and immediately saw delays in delivery, with a six-week delivery estimate persisting until August 2017. Shipping estimates have since improved greatly, with shipping estimates now in the one week timeframe, and increased in-store availability.