, Apple's popular wireless Bluetooth earbuds, are set to contribute "about the same amount of revenue" as the Apple Watch by 2022, according to Gene Munster.
The 21-year veteran Piper Jaffray analyst who has recently turned to venture capitalism also predicts that the retail price of the AirPods will increase from the current $159 to about $200 by that period. Furthermore, the focus of the earbuds will be shifted to what he describes as "augmented audio":
Over the next 10 years, we anticipate that AirPods will be bigger than the Apple Watch as the product evolves from simple wireless headphones to a wearable, augmented audio device. While both AirPods and Apple Watch should continue to grow, we see AirPods contributing about the same amount of revenue as Apple Watch by FY22. We expect the AirPods ASP to increase from $159 today to $200 in FY22 as the product shifts to augmented audio.
If this prediction turns out to be true, that would be quite an achievement. The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch on the market, with some Series 2
models costing up to $1,499. Tracking such statistics would be a bit of an impossible mission, though, as Apple currently doesn't disclose separate sales results of the Apple Watch and AirPods in its quarterly earnings reports.
Still, what stimulates people to buy the AirPods and then wait a whopping 6 weeks before they actually arrive? Well, Apple's decision to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7
which will be almost certainly emulated on future devices means that the AirPods will remain a very desirable accessory.
However, the AirPods' strongest point is that they're simply a well-crafted product. A recent study revealed that a whopping 98% of people who bought the earbuds
were satisfied with their purchase. Add Android compatibility to the mix, and we can see the reasoning behind Munster's claims.