Apple Inc.’s AirPods have been a massive success. The launch day of the AirPods was the largest single day of online headphone sales in 2016, according to a report by Slice Intelligence. Yet Apple looks to be getting into the ‘premium’ over-the-ear headphone market.
No, these aren’t Beats – or are they?
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Apple Insider, Apple is secretly working on a new brand of over-the-ear headphones that will supposedly rival Bose headphones and even Apple’s own Beats brand.
We still don’t have many details on this new project from Apple, however some features have been leaked by sources within the company.
For one, according to TechCrunch, the new headphones will feature noise-cancellation technology. They could also feature an upgraded wireless chip, which will most likely be the W2 chip that is present in the Apple Watch 3 and the upcoming Apple AirPods 2.
Kuo has also found that Apple is working with metal-injection molding company SZS. This could be where the frame and other parts for the headphones may come from.
KGI also estimates that Apple’s new over-the-ear headphones could be coming out in Q4 2018. This would put the release date somewhere around the Christmas holidays. According to sources within Apple however, this date could be pushed off until later depending on how fast production can get rolling.
Currently, it’s unclear whether the Apple-branded headphones will push the Beats brand, which Apple acquired in 2014, into the backseat. It’s also unclear how different Apple will make these over-the-ear headphones. It will have to be different enough for consumers to want to buy them over the Beats brand though.
We don’t expect the Beats brand to be going anywhere anytime soon
If anything, Apple’s new over-the-ear headphones will only compete with the more expensive Beats headphones such as the Beats Studio. Yet we don’t expect the Beats brand to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Overall, it’s unsurprising that Apple wants to develop it’s own pair of over-the-ear headphones. According to GrandviewResearch, the global market cap for wired and wireless headphones will be around $15.8 billion USD.
From what we’ve seen though, it looks like Apple definitely wants to be a major player in that statistic.
Do you think a lot of people will go for Apple-branded over-the-ear headphones or will consumers keep buying Beats instead? Let us know in the comments!