Biggest AirPods launch to date

Next update will build on massive success.

Tim Cook has an unfair reputation for being unable to innovate.

A lot of people say, yes, sure, he’s a great CEO, supremely capable of making the trains run on time and squeezing every penny out of customers and suppliers alike.

But where are the great, breakthrough products that Apple is famous for?

Well, look at your ears — and the ears of everyone around you.

I’d argue that AirPods are one of Apple’s greatest products, ever.

They marry exceptional technical innovations with great user-friendliness.

AirPods completely redefined the audio industry: Wireless earbuds are everywhere less than a decade after AirPods’ launch. It’s one of the most popular categories of listening devices, every electronics company makes their own version, and the segment is growing rapidly.

But Apple dominates. AirPods alone account for more than 30% of the wireless earbuds market, according to market analysis firm Canalys. And AirPods are a big part of Apple’s $40 billion-a-year wearables, home and accessories segment. (Apple doesn’t break out AirPods sales separately.)

Still, the best is yet to come. Apple is about to shake things up again. The company is preparing not just to update AirPods, but to update them with the biggest AirPods launch to date.

Also in today’s newsletter:

  • Apple canceled its secret Apple car project supposedly to concentrate on AI. But now Cupertino is eyeing Google’s Gemini for iOS 18 instead of some home-grown solution. What is going on?

  • The M1 MacBook Air keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. The baseline sale price used to be $750 for the machine (which retailed for $999 until recently), but now it’s dropped to just $649. This is an excellent price for an older but still very capable computer.

  • You can peruse the Vision Pro App Store without a Vision Pro. It’s available on the web if you want to see what software is available before plonking down $3,500.

  • The next Apple Watch may be getting a very important health-monitoring update.

  • Last Friday’s poll about that outrageously expensive (and outrageously ugly) AI-designed iPhone case drew a ton of responses. Read some of the best below. (Spoiler alert: Cult of Mac Today readers aren’t big fans of $300,000-plus iPhone cases.)

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

A message from the Cult of Mac Deals team

A message from the Cult of Mac Deals team

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One more thing ...

Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.

— Steve Jobs, 2011.

Today’s poll

Which AirPods are your favorites?

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Results from yesterday’s poll: What do you think of Labodét’s $300,000+ iPhone case?

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