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Interesting AirPods Facts 2022: AirPods Revenue, Release Date, Units Sold

Last updated: 1 month ago
4 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.

Interesting AirPods Facts 2022: AirPods Revenue, Release Date, Units Sold

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 $12.1 billion of revenue in 2021 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
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 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.

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 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)
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 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 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 the first quarter of 2022 are 68.2 million units.

  • In the TWS market, AirPods had a 28.3% market share in Q1 2022.

Apple TWS & AirPods shipments Q1 2022:

ProductQ1 2022
All Apple TWS21.7 million units
AirPods19.3 million units
Beats TWS2.4 million units
Source: Canalys

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 over 10 million AirPods per quarter. The first time they got the milestone was in 2019.

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 the 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 make sure 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 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.

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