We all know the hype that the AirPods caused among music enthusiasts. Are you wondering what is the company planning to push the level even higher? According to people who are familiar with this project the California-based giant, when it comes to technology, is currently working on noise-cancelling and over-ear headphones that will be able to fight with the forces from Bose and other top-end brands when it comes to audio equipment.
We’ll be able to see these great additions by the end of 2018, so there’s plenty of time for you to start collecting money from now, so go ahead! They are actually working on this project for couple of years and it has been postponed, due to the great amount of work that Apple put into the HomePod and some other great releases. It will be no wonder for me if they opt for a redesign, so I don’t want to give you a particular date – only time and strategy will show.
The latest plans call for headphones targeting the high-end of the market, replicating Apple’s approach with the $349 HomePod speaker, released earlier this year. In addition to noise-cancelling capabilities, Apple plans to include similar wireless pairing functionality to the AirPods, according to the people familiar with the development.
This would be the latest in a long line of music-focused products and services from Apple. The iPod and the iTunes Store revolutionized how music was consumed — as digital downloads rather than physical CDs. The company’s largest ever acquisition was the $3 billion purchase of Beats in 2014 — a deal that got Apple into high-end headphones and music streaming. The HomePod’s sound won glowing reviews this year and Apple is already preparing other audio accessories like upgrades to AirPods that add water-resistance and a new wireless chip that enables “Hey Siri” voice activation.
Until now, since they invested this huge amount, Apple has been selling wearable products, Watches, AirPods, and Beats headphones and generated more than $5 billion, which shows that they work into the right direction. When the company acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics in the 2014 deal, Apple executives said the successful Beats by Dre headphones business was one of the drivers.
Apple-branded headphones would seemingly kill the Beats headphones, although Beats also sells lower-priced wireless headphones that probably won’t directly compete with the new product. Athlete-oriented wireless Beats earphones still seem to be selling well despite the popularity of AirPods. Apple previously discarded the Beats Music streaming name when it launched Apple Music in 2015. However, given the strength of the Beats headphone name, the company will likely keep that brand while developing a different new one for the new headphones.
Pricing will be key for the new Apple headphones. The HomePod is priced more than $100 higher than its main voice-activated competition from Sonos, and $200 more than an Amazon Echo, but $50 less than a competing Google Home Max. Beats and Bose both charge $350 for their high-end wireless headphones, while Sennheiser prices range from $100 all the way to $500.
Apple’s cost for each $349 HomePod is $216, resulting in thinner profit margins than typical Apple hardware products, according to TechInsights. I personally can’t wait to see what the product will be like and I am sure that it will steal the show! Only time will tell.