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AirPods Max too niche and expensive to boost sales, say suppliers

Apple Airpods Max Listening Experience
Apple Airpods Max Listening Experience (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • PCB suppliers are not expecting much from AirPods Max because of their high price and niche target market, according to a new report.

Taiwan-based Apple suppliers are reportedly not expecting much from its new AirPods Max headphones due to their high price and "relatively small niche market," according to the latest reports.

From Digitimes:

Taiwanese PCB makers are not expecting much from Apple's freshly launched over-ear headphones, the AirPods Max, which they think are meant for a relatively small niche market segment, according to industry sources.Compeq Manufacturing and Unitech, both of which have been shipping rigid-flex boards for AirPods devices, are said to be PCB suppliers for the new Apple headsets, the sources said. Both firms declined to comment on any specific clients or products.

The report says PCB suppliers in the country "are not expecting a significant boost to their sales from AirPods Max". This is because they are positioned "as a niche segment", and have both a high price and smaller market scale compared to its other AirPods products.

The report notes Canalys figures from last year, pegging earbuds shipments at around 45 million in 2019, more than double that of over-ear headphones. The report also notes how JBL, Bose, and Sony are "firmly in the leader group" in terms of market share, suggesting it could be harder for Apple to break in.

Reaction to the AirPods Max, released on Tuesday, December 8, has been mixed to say the least. Early impressions from unboxers and reviewers seem to be good, and whilst the price and strange-looking Smart Case have drawn ire on Twitter, orders from Apple's website are backed up until March of next year.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

4 Comments
  • Why do we even listen to these suppliers? They told us the iPhone sales would be way down (they are not). They tell us Apple will fail this quarter, and they never do. Its like they dream of it, but their fantasy never comes true.
  • Umm, HomePod anyone?
  • I mean, the HomePod sold out its pre-orders too and we all know how that eventually turned out.
  • That price during a pandemic I'm sure there's a lot of people out there willing to buy these headphones lol.. IMO it's only worth $299 at the most.