Get ready to see even more of those distinctive AirPod stems sticking out of ears everywhere you go next year.
Apple’s wireless earbuds will finally shake off the supply constraints and become even more readily available in 2018, according to a research note written by reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that was provided to MacRumors. The production uptick could result in the company shipping even more units next year, up to double the total number in 2017.
Kuo predicts that Apple will increase AirPod shipments by 100 percent year-over-year, moving from 13 to 14 million units in 2017 to 26 to 28 million units in 2018. Unsurprisingly, Kuo also called the buds Apple’s “most important accessory product.”
The expanded outlook comes after Apple streamlined its AirPod production process and added a new assembler, Luxshare. Kuo noted that the improvements have led to shipping times for AirPods on Apple’s website dropping to a manageable one to three days, while Apple Stores dependably have the buds in stock.
AirPods have been commercially and critically successful, even after production delays and concerns about consumer reception. Apple doesn’t disclose exactly how many AirPods it has sold in 2017 — Kuo’s 13 to 14 million units is just an estimate — but Tim Cook says the company’s “Wearables” business, which also includes the successful Apple Watch, is roughly the size of a Fortune 400 company on its own.
Apple once again struck gold with the buds, so their growth is inevitable. Looks like toothbrush ears could be the most common look of 2018.