Apple cuts AirPod production as it preps product refresh
Why would a company selling millions of units of a device reduce manufacturing orders just before it introduces new models of the same device?
Apple cuts AirPod production for product refresh
If that seems like a tough question, pity the entire Apple-focused web which seems to think Apple’s alleged decision to reduce AirPod production by 25%-30% reflects declining sales in the face of increased competition.
To be fair, there is a little data that shows competing products are beginning to eat away at those sales, but given we’ve been expecting Apple to introduce new models of its wireless earbuds for months, it’s surely reasonable to think Apple is simply pruning production of models it intends to replace.
The company’s ‘just in time’ supply chain management may be an economic wonder of the world, but it still needs to build and distribute its products to meet anticipated demand.
That means it is very likely to have boxes of the things ready to go.
With that in mind I’m guessing Apple simply anticipates reduced demand for current AirPods models as it preps the path for new ones. It isn’t as if the refresh hasn’t been expected. Can anyone else recall as long ago as just recently when Apple was expected to introduce them during its Spring Loaded event?
New AirPods for Q3
Tellingly, the Nikkei report states:
“The most significant order reduction is for the second quarter toward the start of the third quarter.”
May/June, in other words. When Apple is now expected to introduce new models.
So, I think the latest market scuttlebutt basically gives us a little insight into when Apple is likely to refresh its range with new model AirPods. And it could be sooner, given how hard they are to find on Amazon…
When it does, it will set new standards. As it must. Because while it retains its market lead on the basis of what could be seen as an older product, competitors are eating away at its market share with solutions that compete.
We know Apple’s playbook. It will fight back the way it always does, introducing better devices competitors can’t easily match. And once competitors manage catch those devices up, it will just do it all over again. That’s what it always does.
That even on reduced orders Apple still makes more of these than any competitor is a good problem to have, I think.