Analyst: AirPods outselling iPods at their 2007 quarterly peak

AirPods up close
AirPods up close (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • AirPods are thought to have a blackbuster holiday quarter.
  • One analyst believes they will outpace iPods at their peak.
  • But it's difficult to be sure because Apple doesn't break its numbers down.

AirPods are likely to have what will amount to a blockbuster holiday quarter, with one analyst believing sales will be so strong that they could best the $4 billion quarterly revenue the iPod managed at its peak in 2007.

That comes in a research note from Asymco (via 9to5Mac in which the $4 billion number is mooted. However, it's difficult to know for sure just how many AirPods are sold because Apple doesn't break its numbers down. Instead, they're lumped in with things like Apple Watch and HomePod.

The problem lately has been that AirPods have become huge unto themselves. There is literally no information about AirPods sales as a product category. The only option is to guess Watch and subtract it from Wearables and then guess again the portion of "non-Watch Wearables & Home" that is AirPods.

Alongside the huge AirPods numbers, Asymco also notes that Apple may see better than 50% growth for its Wearables category.

Looking forward to the next quarter, I am expecting a 51% increase y/y for Wearables and 24% growth in Watch. This results in a Watch revenues about $5.2 billion and non-Watch $5.7 billion. Now if we assume $1.7 billion for non-Watch-non-AirPods (i.e. Apple TV, HomePod, Beats, iPod, other) then this quarter AirPods will have overtaken peak iPod.

AirPods sales have recently been boosted by the arrival of the impressive AirPods Pro.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.