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Apple to ship 100 million true wireless earbuds by next year

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple is going to debut new AirPods Pro earbuds next year.
  • He also says Apple is likely to hit 100 million units of TWS headphones shipped in 2022.
  • This is in part thanks to new Beats headphones targeting Android users.

Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the company could reach 100 million units of true wireless headphones shipped by 2022, as it targets Android users with cheaper models of Beats headphones like its new Beats Studio Buds.

In a note seen by iMore, Kuo says that demand for AirPods in the second quarter of 2021 has been "lower than expected", revising shipments estimates down to 70-75 million from 75-85 million by 2021. Kuo says Apple remains number one in the true wireless market, but that its share continues to decline.

In the short term, Kuo states that Apple will help prop up its share of the true wireless market with models like its new Beats Studio Buds. Kuo says that Apple's adoption of MediaTek chips (as opposed to its own H1 chip) will aid Apple, especially in targeting Android users with less expensive alternatives to AirPods that don't require full buy-in to the Apple ecosystem to enjoy.

Kuo says he expects Apple to ship more products with MediaTek's chip in the future. Also reported today is Kuo's indication a new set of AirPods Pro headphones will debut next year. From that report:

Apple will launch new AirPods Pro earbuds in 2022 according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note seen by iMore, the analyst says that Apple's earbuds business will be boosted by AirPods Pro sales during the year.

Kuo and other previous reports indicate next year's AirPods Pro may include innovative features such as health monitoring or fitness tracking, as well as an updated design. If you can't wait that long, the Best AirPods deals currently available include AirPods Pro for less than $200!

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

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.