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Apple Airpods overtake wireless headphones sales in 2016

Apple started the sale of the wireless AirPod headphones in December, after a two-month delay when they were first announced in September during the launch of the latest iPhone.

The long-awaited AirPod, which is priced at $159, capped the the year that headphone buyers cut the cord, as wireless models comprised half of all online headphone sales in 2016. The sale of wireless headphones has been on the rise since the last two years.

Data gathered by Slice Intelligence, which measures digital commerce directly from the consumer, has revealed that Apple has now left wireless headphones sales off the chain.

Prior to the launch of the Airpod, the Beats headphones had generated nearly a quarter of all cordless headphone sales since January 2015. The Beat’s headphone dominated the wireless headphone marker for the last several years.


The Beats products sold even better in the early holiday season, as roughly 32 percent of wireless headphones sales over Cyber Weekend and Black Friday were on Beats.

Now AirPods have taken the top spot for wireless headphones in the last several weeks and gained 26 percent of wireless headphone spending in the weeks since the December 13 launch.

ALSO READ: Apple AirPod available for sale after two-month delay

In December, a whopping 75 percent of headphones sold online were wireless. It is not coincidental that this was also the month that AirPods were launched.

The day Airpod was launched was the largest single day of headphone sales online in 2016. That day spending on headphones was ten times greater than the pre-holiday average for 2016.


Eighty-five percent of shoppers who purchased the AirPods since its availability on December 13 are male, and younger than female shoppers.

Over one-third of the men who bought a pair of AirPods were millennial. Among female buyers, Boomers are the largest population, with a share of 38 percent.

The data from Slice Intelligence, which has a panel of over 4.4 million online shoppers, gives the most detailed and accurate digital commerce data available.



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