Kuo: Apple will only ship 1 million pairs of AirPods Max annually

Airpods Max Iphone 11 Pro
Airpods Max Iphone 11 Pro (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will ship around one million AirPods Max units annually.
  • It isn't clear whether the low number will be caused by manufacturing limitations or low demand.

Apple will ship around one million AirPods Max units annually according to a new research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The news came via a note seen by iMore, with Kuo also claiming that AirPods 3 won't see production ramp up until the third quarter of this year.

Kuo, one of the more accurate and respected analysts, still doesn't have a 100% track record with these kinds of things. However, the one million unit number does still seem to be somewhat low. Kuo doesn't expand on his claim, however, so it's unclear whether the expectation is based on relatively low sales demand or the fact that Apple continues to struggle to get AirPods Max availability under control. Anyone ordering AirPods Max today will still likely have a multi-week wait before they can slip them on.

Airpods Max Side

Airpods Max Side (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The $549 asking price could also be something of a difficult sell for AirPods Max, although again, demand seems to have been solid up until this point. We'll need to see whether Kuo is on the money here.

The research note also suggests that we might not see AirPods 3 enter mass production until the third quarter of 2021, although again, Kuo leaves that open to interpretation. It remains to be seen whether AirPods 3 will launch next week as expected but with low stock levels, or if the launch won't take place until later this year.

If That $549 price is a little rich for your blood, why not check out the best AirPods Max alternatives instead?

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.