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Interesting AirPods Facts 2024: AirPods Revenue, Release Date, Units Sold

Last updated: 8 months ago
5 min read

Here are the latest interesting facts about AirPods.

Find out:

  • AirPods revenue
  • Release dates
  • How many AirPods have been sold
  • Where they’re made

Did you know it’s estimated Apple sold over 150 million units of AirPods? Get more facts below.

Airpods Facts

AirPods revenue

AirPods revenue comparison vs tech companies 2021

How does AirPods revenue compare to other Apple products?

How many AirPods have been sold?

How many AirPods are sold each year?

When were AirPods first made/released?

Where are AirPods made?

Interesting Facts About AirPods

  • Apple made $14.5 billion of revenue in 2022 from AirPods sales alone.
  • AirPods revenue is more than the revenue of Spotify, Twitter, or Shopify.
  • It’s estimated over 150 million units of AirPods have been sold so far.
  • AirPods were first announced on September 7, 2016, and the first generation AirPods were released on December 13, 2016.
  • Most AirPods are made in China, while some are made in Vietnam.

AirPods revenue

Apple made $12.1 billion of revenue in 2021 from AirPods sales alone.

Apple doesn’t disclose the exact numbers for AirPods alone. This is the estimated revenue for AirPods from combined sources.

AirPods revenue chart:

AirPods revenue per year

Here’s a table of AirPods revenue per year:

YearAirPods revenueGrowth
2022$14.5 billion+19.8%
2021$12.1 billion+20%
2020$10.1 billion+65.6%
2019$6.1 billion+90.6%
2018$3.2 billion+82%
2017$1.76 billion/
Based on LinkedIn, Above Avalon data, and estimates from Apple headphones revenue numbers.

The AirPods were released at the end of 2016, so the first data available is in 2017.

The AirPods revenue is growing on average at 64.55% per year, though growth seems to be slowing down.

Apple sold $13.5 billion worth of wearables in Q1 2023 alone.

That’s actually less than in Q1 2022, when they earned $14.7 billion from wearables sales.

(Apple’s annual reports)

AirPods revenue comparison vs. tech companies 2021

AirPods 2021 revenue estimate is $12.1 billion, more than the revenue of Spotify, Twitter, or Shopify.

AirPods revenue vs tech companies 2021

Here’s a table of AirPods revenue comparison vs. tech companies in 2021:

CompanyRevenue
Sony$81.25 billion
Tesla$53.8 billion
Netflix$29.7 billion
Block (SQ)$17.7 billion
Uber$17.45 billion
Nvidia$16.67 billion
AMD$16.4 billion
Adobe$15.8 billion
AirPods$12.1 billion
Spotify$9.67 billion
Twitter$5.1 billion
Shopify$4.6 billion
Snapchat$4.1 billion
Data from Yahoo Finance. JPY/USD rate of March 2021 for Sony numbers.

The AirPods revenue alone is bigger than that of many tech companies. But not as big as some sources portray.

The AirPods revenue in 2020 was likely not $23.05 billion, as often cited. In Apple’s annual reports, you can clearly see that they made $30.62 billion in the Wearables, Home, and Accessories category. The category includes AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats headphones, HomePod, iPods, and Apple accessories.

The estimate that AirPods sales alone represent 75% of the category is dubious.

How does AirPods revenue compare to other Apple products?

AirPods revenue is smaller than that of iPhone, Mac, or iPad. But the relative growth is bigger than any of the mentioned categories.

Apple revenue by category

iPhoneMaciPadAirpods
(estimate)
Q1-Q3
2023
$156.78B$21.74B$26.44B$9.6B
2022$205.49B$40.18B$29.29B$14.5B
2021$191.97B$35.19B$31.86B$12.1B
2020$137.78B$28.62B$23.72B$10.1B
2019$142.38B$25.74B$21.28$6.1B
2018$164.89B$25.2B$18.38B$3.2B
2017$139.34B$25.57B$18.8B$1.76B
Numbers from Apple annual reports. AirPods numbers are estimates.

How many AirPods have been sold?

The number of AirPods sold is growing each year. It’s estimated over 150 million units of AirPods have been sold so far.

And over 100 million people are using them right now. This data is based on the Above Avalon numbers.

Over 100 million people are using AirPods
  • 30% of people use more than one pair of AirPods, according to a survey.
  • And 41% of respondents who bought new AirPods with wireless charging say they’re still using their old AirPods as a secondary pair.

(Above Avalon 2)

How many AirPods are being sold?

Apple sold 19.3 million units of AirPods in Q1 2022 alone, according to Canalys.

All true wireless (TWS) headphones shipments in 2022 are 105.3 million units, with at least 4.2 million units representing the latest Apple AirPods Pro 2. The new Pro model also accounted for 63% of all AirPods shipments in Q4 2022.

  • In the TWS market, AirPods had a 35.8% market share in Q4 2022.

Apple TWS & AirPods shipments in Q4 2022 and Q1 2022:

ProductQ4
2022
Q3
2022
Q2
2022
Q1
2022
All Apple TWS28.4
million
units
23.8
million
units
17.5
million
units
21.7
million
units
AirPodsn/an/a15.3
million
units
19.3
million
units
Beats TWSn/an/a2.2
million
units
2.4
million
units
Source: Canalys, Canalys 2, Canalys 3, Canalys 6

Apple shipped 91.4 million of their TWS headphones in 2022.

In 2021, it managed to ship 92.7 million TWS headphones, which is 1.4% less than in 2022.

(Canalys 6)

How many AirPods are sold each year?

It’s estimated Apple sold around 58 million units of AirPods in 2021.

AirPods sold per year:

YearUnits sold
202158 million
202050 million
201935 million
201820 million
201710 million
Source: Above Avalon 1 (estimates)

Today Apple is selling way over 10 million AirPods per quarter. The first time they got the milestone was in 2019.

And that’s not surprising, as the AirPod lifespan isn’t that long.

The average selling price of AirPods is estimated at over $200 per unit, according to the Above Avalon source.

(Above Avalon 1)

AirPods release date

AirPods were first announced on September 7, 2016, and the first generation AirPods were released on December 13, 2016.

Here’s a table of AirPods release dates for all models:

ModelRelease dateDiscontinued date
AirPods Pro 2October 2022 (estimate)Available
AirPods 3 (3rd gen.)October 26, 2021
Available
AirPods MaxDecember 15, 2020
Available
AirPods ProOctober 30, 2019
Available
AirPods 2 (2nd gen.)March 20, 2019.
Available
AirPods 1 (1st gen.)Dec 13, 2016March 20, 2019

How much does Apple profit from selling a single unit of AirPods?

Apple makes around $63.2 for each unit of AirPods 3rd gen. sold assuming their average gross margin.

The company doesn’t disclose the gross margin for AirPods alone. But assuming the average product gross margin in 2021 was 35.3%, the numbers are:

ModelProfit per unit
Airpods 3rd gen.$63.2
Airpods 2nd gen.$45.5
Airpods Pro$87.9
Airpods Max$193.8
Assumed avg. product margin for 2021. It’s likely margins are higher than the average.

Exact margins might differ from model to model. These numbers are estimated based on Apple’s 2021 Annual report data. (Apple’s 10-K Annual Filings)

(Apple’s annual reports)

Where are AirPods made?

Most AirPods are made in China, while some, around 30%, are made in Vietnam.

  • AirPods 1st gen. were made in China.
  • AirPods 2nd gen. are made in China and Vietnam.
  • AirPods Pro are made in China and Vietnam.
  • AirPods Max are made in China and Vietnam (by Chinese companies, Luxshare and Goertek).
  • Airpods 3rd gen. are made in China and Vietnam.
  • AirPods Pro 2 are allegedly being made in Vietnam.
“Assembled in China” on the AirPods Max body.

A small number of AirPods are made in Japan too, but to ensure you have an authentic product, check the serial number.

When did AirPods become popular?

AirPods were announced on September 7, 2016, and the first units were available in Dec 13 of the same year. They didn’t get a big, major red carpet event. They were unveiled to the world in a 5-minute press release event.

In 2018, 2 years after its release, AirPods became the most popular, most-sold Apple accessory, becoming a staple product for Apple.

Today Apple is selling more AirPods than Apple watches, iPads, iPods, or Macs.

Conclusion

These were the AirPods facts and statistics. The true wireless earbuds are becoming a strong revenue generator for the brand even though they started as an accessory to the iPhone 7.

What do you think is the future for AirPods? Let us know in the comments below.

Above Avalon 1

Apple’s annual reports

Above Avalon 2

Canalys

Canalys 2, Global TWS growth slows to 6% in Q3 2022 as total smart personal audio market declines. Published Dec 5, 2022. Accessed Feb 21, 2023.

Canalys 3, Headwinds hit global smart personal audio, as India the only major market to grow in Q2 2022. Published Sep 6, 2022. Accessed Feb 21, 2023.

Canalys 4, TWS shipments exceed 100 million in Q4 2021. Published Mar 9, 2022. Accessed Feb 21, 2023.

Canalys 5, Global TWS market records lowest growth in three years at 6.4% in Q2 2021. Published Sep 3, 2021. Accessed Feb 21, 2023.

Canalys 6, Smart Personal Audio segment declines 26% in Q4 2022. Published Mar 7, 2023. Accessed Oct 2, 2023, 2023.

Nikkei Asia

LinkedIn, AirPods Revenue vs. Other Tech Companies. Published Sep 2023. Accessed Oct 2, 2023.

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