Apple Reportedly Lowering AirPods Production Due to Decreasing Sales

Apple is cutting production of its ultra-popular AirPods by around 25% to 30% due to a decrease in sales as a result of increased competition in the wireless earphone industry, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia.

airpods pro roundup
According to the report, citing sources familiar with Apple's production plans, the tech giant now plans to produce only roughly 75 to 85 million units of AirPods for the remainder of this year. It had initially planned to aim for 110 million units.

Apple now expects to make between 75 million and 85 million units for 2021, compared with a previous production forecast of 110 million units.

"The most significant order reduction is for the second quarter toward the start of the third quarter," said one of the people familiar with the matter. "The levels of inventory [in warehouses] and in-store stocks of AirPods are currently high ... and demand is not as strong as expected."

The report does not specify which AirPods specifically will see a production cut. Apple's current AirPods lineup includes the AirPods Pro, the second-generation standard AirPods with wireless charging, and the $550 over-ear AirPods Max. AirPods and AirPods Pro are expected to be upgraded this year, which Apple hopes will "stimulate sales," according to the report.

Towards the end of 2020, Apple updated its entire product lineup, ranging from new iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and more. The AirPods, which have dominated the wireless earphone market since their debut, was one of the only Apple products not to receive an upgrade towards the end of the year.

Apple is rumored to be working on third-generation AirPods with a design similar to the AirPods Pro but lacks "Pro" features such as Active Noise Cancelation. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that production of the new AirPods will begin in the third quarter of the year.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro
Tag: Nikkei
Related Forum: AirPods

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Top Rated Comments

Kierkegaarden Avatar
40 months ago
If next generation AirPods are expected in Q3, and reductions are happening between Q2 and Q3, couldn’t this possibly mean that the reductions are planned around the new model being released?

The info shared wouldn’t factor in production data on an unreleased product.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
40 months ago
I bet the AirPods Max don't sell that well, priced too high.

Also, make them last longer, AirPods last for just a few years, then tossed in the bin because the battery is dead.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
40 months ago
Shocking news. Maybe the prices are too high... make it affordable, please.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MecPro Avatar
40 months ago
Diminishing returns when you get over £100. I mean the tech when you’re in the iOS environment is cool, but if I didn’t buy them right at the beginning when less options were available, then I probably may have opted for another brand.

I’ve seen some Anker Wireless buds that have over 20,000 reviews on Amazon and are 4.5/5 and are £40.

Also during the lockdown it didn’t make sense to have earbuds that only last less than 5 hours when you have work calls and stuff. I had my Bose NC700 and Jabra Evolve 85 on a lot more due to longer battery life, comfort and the ability to be connected to more than one device across different OS
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
40 months ago
SHOCKING: if you don’t update a product for 2 years (okay okay, 1.5 years), after so many people have already bought the product, the sales will go down.

The AirPods Pro is so good that I don’t know what I want for the next version - given that Apple replaced my APP for free twice (one within the warranty period; another time under the replacement program), so now I have relatively new batteries inside the APP too.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
40 months ago

I would like to upgrade from my AirPod Pros... they have horrible battery life and tons of glitches like crackling!
AirPods in generally do not seem to be made to last, but I have bad luck with Apple headphones in general. Even before, the wired ones would die on me within a year (usually the left piece for some reason would stop working).

I had to get my AirPod replaced once (also the left one started to fail) and even with the replacement they last about 30 minutes now. My AirPod Pro also had to be replaced before because of the cracking issue. Lesson learned, if I ever do get AirPods again (they ARE convenient) I will add AppleCare+ to them for sure
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)