Remember when headphones came free with iPhones?
Over time, the company replaced that perk with must-have AirPods, responsible for ~$25B in 2021 revenue, per Bloomberg.
Understandably, Apple’s buds work better with Apple products than any others. It’s a practice that some, like AirTag competitor Tile and Google (regarding iMessage), consider abusive market power.
It also says a lot…
… about where Apple’s headed. The most “original” product of the Cook era may be the upcoming Apple Reality headset. (“AR,” get it?)
- Demand for such a product isn’t much, but neither was demand for AirPods at launch, necessarily. Cue this “Conan” spoof from 2016.
- It also won’t be the market’s only offering. Meta has already sold ~15m Quest 2 headsets, for instance.
Apple’s headset, however, will be the one that works best with your iPhone, AirPods, and $10/mo. Apple Music account. That setup could make it a home run.
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