Ahead of next-gen AirPods, Apple's audio team welcomes a new maestro

Ahead of next-gen AirPods, Apple's audio team welcomes a new maestro
While the iPhone remains Apple's flagship product, accessories like AirPods have grown increasingly crucial for the company. Reports indicate that AirPods generate approximately $15 billion in annual revenue for Apple and lead the personal audio products market. As Apple develops new products within this segment, it has restructured the leadership of its team responsible for audio products.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, insiders spill the beans that Gary Geaves, the current VP in charge of Apple's audio products, is hanging up his hat. Stepping into his shoes is Ruchir Davé, an Apple veteran since 2009, who is now taking the reins of the audio team, which has around 300 employees.
The team plays a pivotal role in Apple's expanding AirPods and speaker businesses. It manages sound and microphone technologies, contributing to software features like spatial audio, a major selling point for AirPods, HomePods, and the new Vision Pro headset.
In December, Geaves underwent a role shift to report directly to Matt Costello, the executive overseeing Beats and HomePod products. Geaves will remain at Apple as a consultant for the audio team while Costello takes charge of the product design group for accessories.
Those in the know about Apple's sound team think Geaves has been mulling retirement for a while. The move to an advisory gig is seen as a stepping stone toward that eventual exit.

Geaves joined Apple in 2011 after leading research at Bowers & Wilkins. Geaves played a key role in the development of the HomePod smart speaker, which, despite a slow start in 2018, gained momentum in recent years, especially with more affordable models.
Geaves has also been spearheading the redesign of Apple's AirPods lineup over the past two years, with a focus on delivering a comprehensive overhaul. The upcoming months are expected to unveil the results of this effort as Apple prepares to launch refreshed AirPods 4 and AirPods Pro 3.
The acoustics team is actively exploring other new products, like a wall-mounted smart display and a combined iPad-HomePod device.

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