Apple AirPods generate more revenue than Nedbank and Vodacom

A single division of Apple is larger than almost any company in South Africa, a new study revealed

Apple has achieved unprecedented success with its wireless headphones, the AirPods. In fact, Apple AirPods bring in more than $12 billion (R181 billion) per year.

Apple Airpods versus SA’s top-performing companies

To put that in perspective, Apple AirPods represent only 10% of the company’s total income, yet it is more than almost any South-African company’s revenue.

The only South African company to beat Apple AirPods to the race is Sasol, with annual revenue of $14.8 billion, or R220 billion.

Apple AirPods beats Standard Bank Group (R135 billion) and Old Mutual (R124 billion), as well as Nedbank (R117 billion) and Vodacom (R91 billion).

Cristian Rennella, CEO and co-founder of QuotesAdvisor, explains:

“To exemplify locally, the revenues generated by the AirPods are far greater than those of Standard Bank Group, Old Mutual or Nedbank”.

Apple’s success with AirPods

Apple launched the AirPods back in 2016 as a secondary product to boost iPhone revenue. In 2017, Apple sold more than 215m iPhones, at approximately R15 000 per device.

The average annual iPhone inflow now reaches about $215 billion (or R3.2 trillion) and makes up more than 80% of Apple’s total turnover.

But nobody predicted that Apple’s wireless headphones would be such a lucrative product. It turned out to be a smart move that generated the launch of a complement that would increase the company’s annual revenue.

Watch: AirPods Pro introduction

Apple announced the latest addition to the series, the AirPods Pro, back in October 2019. The Pro set competes with Google’s Pixel Buds and Sony’s WF 1000xm3 earbuds; the latter currently being the bar for true wireless headsets.

While Sony’s earbuds are not perfect, they do currently boast the best sound and noise-cancelling in any true wireless headset. Whether the AirPods will be able to knock Sony’s earbuds off their perch remains to be seen.

Will we still use AirPods in the future?

Since Airpods’ launch four years ago, approximately 100m AirPods were sold and that Apple has an installed base of 900 million iPhones, i.e., customers who currently use third-party headphones.

Quotes Advisor explains that by analysing the “the variation in consumption in previous years, it is easy to realise that it will continue to grow at very high levels”.

“There are rumours that Apple will launch an operating system for these products in 2020, so applications such as TTYL and Yac are already preparing to adapt to this change and be leaders in the audio market”.

What will be the future of Apple?

Quotes Advisor also explains that there are “currently no major differences between Apple or other brands’ smartphones, so one of the ways in which Apple can increase its revenue is by building an ecosystem of apps and gadgets”.

“This differentiation would also generate an increase in sales on iPhones, and create new products like the Apple Card. So, the future success of Apple depends on its ability to create a complete ecosystem”.

The silicone tips on AirPods also provide a better seal than ever before, and its noise cancellation feature was upgraded to “continuously adapt the sound signal 200 times per second.”

The AirPods can switch between Noise Cancelling and what they’re calling a ‘transparency mode’. The transparency mode is designed to allow some ambient noise into your AirPods. Truly a winning recipe.

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