An analyst over at Wedbush has probed their supply chain sources and analyzed inventory drawdown at the above mentioned retailers to arrive at the whopping 3 million sets of AirPods (including the Pro model) that Apple may have moved this past weekend. According to Dan Ives, the checks indicate unprecedented interest in the true wireless earphones from Apple, buoyed by the introduction of the model with active noise cancellation not long ago.
After all, you'd want to get isolated from your plane passengers' noise in style, and still be able to watch a movie on the in-flight entertainment system while doing it. The Apple Store saw the delivery date slip past the Christmas milestone, reflecting the growing demand for Apple's most popular wearable, but the AirPods are intermittently available at other retailers.
Thus, if Apple indeed bundles them with the iPhone 12 Pro models, as we recently heard, it will be losing on a pretty decent revenue stream (half a billion just over this past weekend), so we'd have to see the rumor materialize to believe it. After all, there have been rumors that the AirPods will be bundled in the boxes since the iPhone 7 times, but they didn't pan out in the end.
Dan Ives ends their memo to Wedbush clients with the forecast for at least 60 million AirPods moved this year, raising it further to 85-90 million in 2020. That's a huge itemized income to bundle in a box, but we'll see what the 5G iPhone model future brings.