One of the biggest misconceptions of the younger technology-history began on the evening of 7. In September 2016. Apple had just introduced the iPhone 7, in the case of the less the new features of conversation, but rather a Feature that was impossible. Because it was the first Apple Smartphone without a headphone Jack. A more radical step, by the millions Stripping the headphones no longer fit on a blow in the Smartphone. The network freaked out.

And the wrath of the mockery: When the group followed a few minutes later, the AirPods presented a Pair of completely wireless headphones, the majority of viewers do not, as the next step towards a wireless future, but as an expensive stopgap for a Problem that didn’t exist until then. Especially for the unusual Design, the company suffered a lot of Häme. Pictures of people with clip-on toothbrush in the ear whizzed through the social networks. The AirPods have been a laughingstock.

But they were underestimated.

The white Underdog

In the first few months you discovered the white Ohrstöckchen occasionally for commuters in subways, joggers in the Park or in the ears, call business men. In the meantime, you belong to the city of many cities. “No matter where you go, you get the AirPods will see anywhere,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of product marketing in an interview with the star. “The Situation reminds me a little of the early days of the iPod, when suddenly everywhere is the white headphones showed up.” An effect, the group targeted leads. The AirPods are a throwback to the iPod and iPhone earphones, they are unlike most products of the group are exclusively in one color – White. “Our white headphones are iconic, they were General cultural heritage. Therefore, of course, the AirPods needed to be white.”

The initially belittled Design should prove to be a strength. The AirPods to fall, they hang in the truest sense of the word from the ears. All the Memes and Postings in social networks generated attention in the case of a target group, which can be reached through traditional advertising. And, at the latest, when celebrities like Will Smith, Kristen Stewart, or fashion-made icons such as David Beckham, the bright-white headphones to Look, were you sought after socially acceptable, and teenagers all over the world.

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At the soccer world Cup in 2018 in Russia were the AirPods even the secret Star of the show. Dozens of professionals like Julian Draxler and Neymar on the way to the Hotel or to the stadium in the ear. The Design has become so familiar that some of the competitors – for example, Huawei take over with his Freebuds – it is almost unchanged.

“simplicity is the result of really hard work,”

according to A survey the quality of the sound plays when headphones are in purchasing a minor role. Instead, a high level of portability and simple operation are important to people. And this is exactly where Apple put it: “in Order to connect a pair of headphones, you gotta go earlier in the settings, the device find and lock together,” says Apple’s Marketing man Joswiak. “We have simplified the radical.”

When the AirPods to open the charging case, press Connect, then the headphones with all Apple devices of the user are automatically connected. “This is exactly how technology should work. But it is incredibly difficult to make things simple. Simplicity is the result of really hard work.” The AirPods will work with Android Smartphones, the pairing works like any other Bluetooth headset.

According to Joswiak, the AirPods are now “the most popular wireless headphones in the world”. A new survey conducted by the market research company Counterpoint Research confirms, here, Apple hair ends up sharp in front of Sony and Samsung. Concrete sales figures, the group announced today.

according to estimates, Apple sold in the last year, between 26 and 28 million AirPods. “This is an impressive number for such a young product,” says Analyst Neil Cybart on his Podcast. According to his calculations, the AirPods washed more than four billion US dollars in revenues in the funds. This already corresponds to two percent of the total annual turnover. Statista, according to the group to settle in this year up to 55 million headphones. That would be an increase of 90 percent.

The AirPods listen now

this week Apple has unveiled the long-awaited second Generation of the Airpods. It is the first Bluetooth-earbud, which can only be on call with a language assistant. This is made possible by a specially developed Mini-processor. “The H1 Chip shifts the boundary of the feasible in the case of headphones,” explains Kate Bergeron, Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple. The Chip has been specifically optimized for headphones, and provides faster Connections to devices, lower latency in Games, and a 50 percent longer talk time. In addition, Siri can now be activated at any time using the command “Hey Siri”.

you already have the iPhone and the Mac, and headphones in the head but is technically remarkable because of the form factor has remained unchanged. “As you can imagine, there was not much space in the AirPods in the charging case. Accordingly, it was very complicated, the innovations to implement. We have done this primarily through improvements in the Chips,” says Bergeron. The W1-Chip in the predecessor was manufactured in 65-Nanometer process, the new H1-a-Chip, already in a much more efficient 16-Nanometer process. The engineer, according to the built-in microphones and acceleration sensors are also used in order to detect movements of the jaw. The AirPods work as a complete System, in order to identify the most energy-economical, the ‘Hey Siri’ – Phrase.

So, practically, the Changes are, some of Wwishes open, the user have not been met. The second Generation offers new colors of customizable ear tips. The AirPods are still not waterproof and do not support new Gestures, such as to regulate the volume. And the new wireless charging case is only available for 50 euros extra, which increases the total price to 229 Euro.

Great hopes on small devices

according to rumors, Apple is working in secret laboratories already working on the next Generation of the AirPods. These are Noise-support Cancelling, so annoying to hide external noises such as the hum of the aircraft turbine. Also features built-in biometric Sensors, such as for the detection of the heart rate is rumored to be. But probably it will take until 2020 or even 2021, until such a product is ready for market. Apple itself does not want to comment on the rumors, of course. But Joswiak, according to the AirPods are the ingredients, “one of the main for a wireless future”.

From the beginning, belittled accessory in times of decreasing sales of the iPhone, one of the great hopes for Apple CEO Tim Cook. The product category of Wearables – the Apple Watch, and Beats include, in addition to the AirPods headphones, recorded in the third quarter of 2018, an annual growth of 60 percent. So far, the increases are not, however, able to the decline in sales in the main business. However, in 2021, the group could crack already the mark of 80 million sold AirPods per year, writes “Forbes”. The annual sales would then be around 13 billion US dollars, the Mini-headphones would be a similar house number, such as the iPad.

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By Malte Mansholt