Two reasons why Apple is reducing AirPods 3 production by over 30%


Apple AirPods 2, AirPods 3, and AirPods Pro wireless earbuds
Apple AirPods 2, AirPods 3, and AirPods Pro wireless earbuds
Source: Pocketnow

After months of leaks and rumors, Apple finally announced the AirPods 3 back in October last year. The new wireless earbuds brought MagSafe and wireless charging support, Spatial audio, sweat and water resistance, and better audio drivers compared to the second generation. The AirPods were the first real wireless earbuds to take off and become mainstream, offering a cordless experience at an affordable price tag.

Apple managed to quickly become the top seller and manufacturer in the wireless earbuds market, and it managed to sell tens of millions of products in the first few years. The AirPods 3 is the true successor of the first and second generation of AirPods, but it appears that it’s not doing so well sales-wise.


Apple analysts Ming-Chi Kuo shared that Apple cut the AirPods 3 orders for Q2 and Q3 2022 by over 30% due to the “failed product segmentation strategy.” Kuo claims that the demand for the new earbuds is “significantly weaker than for AirPods 2”, which would explain why we’ve seen such great discounts and prices on Amazon in the past few months. Kuo also claims that Apple might discontinue the AirPods Pro after releasing the updated second generation of AirPods Pro in the second half of 2022 to “avoid repeating the same mistake.”

The first reason why Apple might not be selling as many units as it thought it would is because of the high price tag. The AirPods 3 launched for $179 in the US, while the AirPods 2 remained available for $129. The AirPods Pro is also available for $249, which is often seen as a better deal, especially if we consider that official Apple products often receive price cuts on Amazon.

airpods lineup pricing

The price gap between the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3 is so big that it often makes people consider picking up the older second generation for significantly less money, since it gets the job done. It offers most of the features that most consumers would want. Most people use AirPods to listen to podcasts, music, and to talk to friends and family. The AirPods 3 doesn’t have too many significant features to make it a more appealing purchase than the previous generation.

The second reason is that the AirPods 3 isn’t too appealing. In case of the AirPods Pro, the “Pro” device offers ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and Transparency Mode, which lets users hear ambient noise to increase awareness of their surroundings while walking or doing any sort of activities. The upgraded AirPods Pro also features MagSafe support, and is water-resistant, and it also offers customizable silicone eartips that provide a more secure fit. The AirPods Pro is also seeing some price cuts on Amazon, which is why many people tend to prefer it over the AirPods 3, because those who want a better and customizable experience will pay more, and those who are fine with standard earbuds that “get the job done”, will pick up the AirPods 2, hence making it harder to sell AirPods 3 at their current price tag.

That’s not the only two reasons why AirPods 3 might not be selling well, since the earbuds have become ever so slightly larger and bulkier over the second generation, making it much harder to fit in smaller ears – like mine. I’ve tried using the AirPods 3 for about four days, but I had to give it up as it was not only really uncomfortable to use on a daily basis, but it would also fall out. The second generation was a perfect fit in my case, and it’s one of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve ever used.

Apple is struggling, although we don’t have to worry about the trillion-dollar company any time soon, since they have plenty of pocket change to develop better and more comfortable products. Apple also recently cut production for the recently unveiled iPhone SE 2022, since the demand for the new phone was much lower than initially anticipated.

Coming back to the AirPods, Apple is expected to stop selling the current generation of AirPods Pro earbuds after unveiling the second generation of AirPods Pro to prevent making the same mistake, claims Kuo. The move wouldn’t be surprising, given that Apple failed to catch the attention and hype the AirPods 3 was supposed to deliver. The only way Apple could make the AirPods 3 stand out is by increasing the price of the next generation of AirPods Pro earbuds by about $30 to $50, which could entice more users into thinking it’s a better deal than the old second-generation earbuds. It could also allow Apple to compete in three price segments, better differentiating itself in the large crowd of wireless earbuds market.

Apple AirPods 3

Apple AirPods 3

AirPods 3 are the latest generation wireless earbuds from Apple. It supports Spatial Audio, Adaptive EQ, and it has force sensors that let you easily control the earbuds while listening to music, watching movies, or taking a call. The earbuds are sweat and water resistant, and can last up to 6-hours on a single charge, or 30-hours provided by the MagSafe charging case.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro offers Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode to hear the world around you, and Adaptive EQ to fine-tune audio to your ears. The earbuds are sweat and water-resistant and last up to 6-hours on a single charge.


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