AirPods Pushing the Envelope

The last few weeks have been nothing short of exhausting.  Tax filing is entering crunch time, that pesky daylight savings time is here again messing up everyone’s sleep and there is a new oil war.  But all of that pales in comparison to the elephant in the room… the Coronavirus.  In the past week it was deemed a pandemic by the WHO, the NBA and NHL (likely the MLB as well) have both paused their seasons due to concerns.  Oh, and the S&P is down about 25% from peak to trough.  Honestly, we felt like everyone needs a little bit of a break.  


Back in 2016 I wrote a Word about Apple being the first phone manufacturer to remove the headphone jack titled Innovation or Arrogance?.  As a technophile I was pretty skeptical about the move and was scathing at times in the piece.  At one point going as far to say, “This just seems like Apple has passed the costs of its design to its consumers and instead of being practical, is looking to line their pockets a little more.” Boy was I ever right, yet somehow so wrong.  Apple’s solution to removing the headphone jack, AirPods became a massive hit.

Just a year after their launch AirPods became the number one selling headphones in the world. To further put that in perspective in just three short years it is estimated that Apple has made $8 billion of AirPods and related products.  While that might not seem like a lot when it comes to Apple’s overall value, if you were to break that portion of the business off, AirPods would still rank in the high 300s as a Fortune 500 company.  You can then look at the industry that mocked the move and see that one by one they have all followed suit, getting rid of the headphone jack only to introduce their wireless earbuds to compete.


So, it may have been a bit of both innovation and arrogance.  AirPods are hardly revolutionary, wireless headphones have been around for years, but AirPods took the technology and made it accessible to the masses.  Coupled with their branding they were able to completely change an entire industry seemingly overnight.


We did want to take a second to say that we hope you are all safe during these challenging times.  We know it can feel all too stressful and to watch the news and the markets, feeling like there is something you should be doing, but that is what we are here for.  Despite the hectic financial news, we continue to operate normally.  We are diligently monitoring the situation in the global markets and evaluating any potential pitfalls or opportunities. As always, we are here to discuss anything specific you have questions on.