From next year smartphone manufacturers may begin to include true wireless stereo earphones, such as Apple AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, i Xiaomi Mi True Wireless and so on. We mention these three in particular because these are precisely the companies explicitly mentioned by the source, or the report by DigiTimes. It should be pointed out that the information comes from sources within the suppliers, and that the publication actually proved to be reliable in the past; however, given the prices which usually have earphones of this type, seems a decidedly unrealistic indiscretion.
The case of Apple is emblematic. AirPods have a list price starting from 179 ? (although in this period of Black Friday they are something less), and iPhones are already among the most expensive devices in the category. It is true that the EarPods, the earphones with Lightning connector included in the package since the time of iPhone 7, are worth around 50 ?, but it would still be an increase of 130 ? (in our market, at least). It does not seem, quite simply, a viable choice.
The report does not specifically mention AirPods, but it also seems unlikely that Apple decides to produce cheaper earphones. The same reasoning, although less extreme, applies to Samsung; for Xiaomi it is instead a little more plausible, given its aggressive pricing policies. For Apple, in particular, there is also to consider the resounding success that the product has had – even for the much more expensive AirPods Pro the Apple has had to double the already generous production. So if people buy millions, why risk cutting revenue?
The market will still have to converge in that direction, sooner or later. The 3.5mm analog jack is found on less and less smartphones, and the wired headphones that use USB-C or Lightning connectors remain an inconvenient solution – not to mention the adapters. It is possible that, in these early stages, the manufacturers offer optional bundles – as Samsung has already done several times, with special initiatives and discounts reserved for the first buyers – but it seems too early to become the default for the sector.