The AirPods are the fastest growing segment in Apple accounts. And is not for less. Since their debut in 2016 they have become one of the most recognizable apple products. Its characteristic white design and color have acted as a kind of advertisement for the brand without intending to, to the point of transforming into a meme at Christmas 2018.
In all this time, Apple has deployed a strategy not entirely unusual with this category. And it is that while cheap wireless headphones debuted in 2016 Compared with the competition of that time, over the years it has been rising in the product and price pyramid. It is just the opposite effect to what is usually done.
Bottom to top: AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max
AirPods are one of Apple’s most interesting categories launched in recent years. Embedded within the Wearables, Home and Accessories segment, are ahead of the iPad and a stone’s throw from the Mac in terms of sales. Categories that have been on the market for much longer. Another symptom of its importance after the market debut is the speedy iteration of models. Let’s quickly go over their top models:
- Original AirPods: Released in December 2016.
- AirPods 2 – Released in March 2019.
- AirPods Pro – Released in November 2019.
- AirPods Max: Released in December 2020.
It is obvious that there is a pattern here. At the initial debut in late 2016 three other models have followed, including a renovation of the originals. And all of them have occurred in a space of about 20 months. Now, let’s see what their prices are in euros:
- AirPods: 179 euros.
- AirPods with wireless case: 229 euros.
- AirPods Pro: 279 euros.
- AirPods Max: 629 euros.
Here again one thing is evident: Apple has decided to go up starting from a tremendously popular product to focus on increasingly advanced models. Unlike regular AirPods, which are a product with a price that makes them very popular, AirPods Max are not a mass market product.
The 450 euros difference that separates the AirPods from the AirPods Max denotes a segment that has matured in a very short time, offering different models for different users
The material and sound qualities go one step further than AirPods or AirPods Pro. They incorporate many of its functions, such as spatial sound, active cancellation or the invocation of Siri.
A strategy similar to that of the iPhone or iPad
This pricing strategy with AirPods it is not unique in the case of Apple. Although with nuances, both the iPhone and the iPad have followed similar trails. As their respective categories have matured, the Cupertino company has increased the range of models available.
So now we have four iPhone 12 models. Up to five iPhone models released in 2020 if we take into account the iPhone SE. The case of the iPad is also similar, now having four models: iPad, iPad Air and two sizes of iPad Pro. And, again, we come across an iPad mini as a complement to the family.
Apple released AirPods that were tremendously competitive with what other manufacturers offered. They were the cheapest wireless headphones of 2016
Both iPhone SE and iPad mini represent the exception in their respective ranges. Both have a lower price than the reference model. A situation that does not occur in the AirPods (for now). If we take into account that, with specific offers, the normal AirPods come close to 120-130 euros, it seems difficult to find a reason for Apple to launch a more affordable model.
Although the stock of AirPods Max has already been exhausted, we should not take it as an indicator of sales at the level of the original AirPods. With this model, Apple seeks to target a smaller segment in which the company believes it can contribute something significant. At SamaGame we hope to test them over the next few days and we will analyze what their sound and experience is like, so stay tuned.