AirPods Max Market Segment Too Niche to Boost Sales, Say Apple Suppliers

Apple's suppliers don't expect AirPods Max to boost their sales anything like AirPods earbuds because they believe the over-ear headphones market segment is too niche, according to a new report out today.

airpods max blue
Taiwan-based Compeq and Unitech have been shipping rigid-flex boards for AirPods and are said to be supplying the printed circuit boards for ‌AirPods Max‌ too, according to DigiTimes.

However, industry sources said the PCB suppliers don't foresee a significant boost to their sales from ‌AirPods Max‌, "reasoning that over-ear headphones are positioned as a niche segment with higher prices but smaller market scale compared to earbuds."

The sources cited Canalys statistics showing that the world's quarterly shipments of true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds came to around 45 million pairs in third-quarter 2019, compared to 20 million for over-ear headphones.

The report notes that JBL, Sony and Bose are "firmly in the leader group" in terms of market share for over-ear headphones. It's worth adding that all three offer headphones at a significantly lower price point than Apple is targeting with ‌AirPods Max‌, which cost $549.

Indeed, the price has raised eyebrows and led some commentators to question Apple's market strategy for the headphones. Nevertheless, ‌AirPods Max‌ quickly sold out when they were unveiled on Tuesday, and are now backordered until March in all colors.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

dannys1 Avatar
19 months ago
Of course it is - and that's what I love most about these. That the biggest tech company in the world is willing to spend R&D making what is essential a niche device and will generate about 0.0001% of the iPhone income.

Even if I don't want the items, I'm very happy when Apple releases niche devices like the XDR display and to a lesser degree these -- because ultimately it's not making them anymore significant money and they could easily not bother.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
19 months ago

Big, heavy, expensive, and lets robbers know exactly who to target. I would rather stick with my airpods. Maybe if future revisions can bring the cost down I might get one for home use only
You have a much bigger problem than your AirPods Max if robbers are everywhere in the place you live.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
asdavis10 Avatar
19 months ago
Hate the name. On the fence about the design (and case). Have no doubt that the tech is great in these. But we’re probably looking at another HomePod. Not for everyone. And that’s ok. I love my HomePod. But will pass on these.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coredev Avatar
19 months ago

Hopefully this will apply to iPhone mini as well. Sales data reveals it is a niche product, or at least, the least popular iPhone size by far.
That is kind of surprising, because for years we were hearing forum members whine that they really need an up to date iPhone at a smaller form factor.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rmoliv Avatar
19 months ago
They only "quickly sold out" because they manufactured a small batch of them. It's pure marketing.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnipgnop Avatar
19 months ago
"It's worth adding that all three offer headphones at a significantly lower price point than Apple is targeting with AirPods Max, which cost $549."

Beats headphones are sold by Apple at lower price points and Beats has a market share that is competitive with JBL, Sony, and Bose.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

AirPods Pro Discount Feature Yellow

Deals: New Sales Hit AirPods Pro ($179.99) and AirPods Max ($489.99) on Amazon

Wednesday September 15, 2021 7:59 am PDT by
Amazon has a pair of solid deals on Apple's AirPods Pro and AirPods Max today, starting at $179.99 for the AirPods Pro, down from $249.00. This is the second-best price we've seen on the AirPods Pro since launch, and one of the best prices we've tracked in 2021. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small ...
AirPods Max Deal Feature Black

Deals: AirPods Max in Space Gray Drop to $477.77 on Amazon ($71 Off, New Low)

Thursday July 8, 2021 10:38 am PDT by
Apple's Space Gray AirPods Max have received a new discount on Amazon today, dropping the headphones down to $477.77, down from $549.00. Only Space Gray is available at this new all-time low price for the AirPods Max, but Sky Blue and Green are only slightly higher at $489.99. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Adorama. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a...
AirPods Max Deal Feature Green

Deals: AirPods Max on Sale for $449 in Every Color ($100 Off)

Tuesday March 15, 2022 6:59 am PDT by
AirPods Max have returned to $449.00 in all colors on Amazon, down from $549.00. All models are in stock and ready to ship out today, but the Silver model's stock is beginning to run out as of writing. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. We haven't ...
airpods max reaons 3

Deals: AirPods Max Hit $499.00 for the First Time ($50 Off) [Updated]

Thursday June 10, 2021 10:12 am PDT by
Today we're tracking the first $50 discount on Apple's AirPods Max headphones. You can get the Sky Blue AirPods Max for $499.00 on Amazon, B&H Photo, and Adorama, down from $549.00. Sky Blue is the only color at this price. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Adorama. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
AirPods Max Deal Feature Silver

Deals: AirPods Max Hit $100 Off for the First Time, Get All Colors at $449

Friday July 16, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
AirPods Max have now reached a full $100 off their original price tag of $549.00, available only on Adorama as of writing. You can get all AirPods Max colors for $449.00 during this sale, including Pink, Silver, Sky Blue, Green, and Space Gray. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Adorama. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
AirPods Discount Feature Magenta

Deals: AirPods 2 Discounted to $99.99 and More AirPods Sales (Up to $100 Off)

Monday January 24, 2022 9:15 am PST by
Apple's AirPods 2 have dropped to $99.99 on Amazon today, down from $129.00. This is the model with the Wired Charging Case, and they're sold directly from Amazon and are in stock today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Compared to holiday...
AirPods Max new feature

AirPods Max 2: Everything We Know One Year After the High-End Headphones Launched

Wednesday December 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
A year ago today, Apple's AirPods Max launched, marking the company's first push into the high-end over-ear headphones market under its own brand name. One year later, rumors about a successor are thin on the ground, but there have been some indications about what customers can expect from AirPods Max 2. A report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that AirPods Max, thought at the time to be...
airpods max blue

Gurman: Apple Not Working on Second-Generation AirPods Max, But Has Considered New Colors

Friday May 28, 2021 6:11 am PDT by
In a report focused on upcoming third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman added that Apple has yet to start working on second-generation AirPods Max, although he said the company has discussed launching additional color variations for the over-ear headphones in the future. The relevant bit from the report:The last AirPods-related hardware...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp to Let Users Leave Group Chats 'Silently' and View Rich Link Previews in Status Updates

Tuesday May 17, 2022 3:07 am PDT by
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to "silently" leave group chats hosted by the messaging platform instead of all members of the group being notified when they do. As it stands, when someone leaves a group chat, WhatsApp announces their exit to the entire group, making the act of leaving very public. It's not possible right now to leave a group quietly, but WhatsApp...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday May 16, 2022 9:57 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5, the fifth major update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5 comes more than two months after the release of tvOS 15.4, an update that brought support for captive WiFi networks. tvOS 15.5 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple...