iPhone 12 May Ship Without EarPods, Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Claims

Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a new research note to investors today, raising AirPods shipments to 93.8 million units in 2020 (vs. pre 80-90 million units), and expect AirPods shipments to usher in strong growth in 2H20.

Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and destocking, there's a weak demand for AirPods 2, which led to a decline in total 2Q20 shipments of about 29% QoQ to 17.2 million units. However, benefiting from AirPods 2 demand will resume from 3Q20 to maintain strong demand with AirPods Pro. Therefore, the analyst expects AirPods shipments to grow strongly by 40% QoQ, 44% YoY / 17% QoQ, 39% YoY in 3Q20/4Q20.

Kuo states that there is one chief reason as to why he raises the shipment estimates, that is, iPhone 12 may not come with the wired EarPods in the box to drive the demand for lower-priced second-gen AirPods, but he claims that Apple may have an AirPods promotion strategy in 2H20.

EarPods is a wired earphone that Apple launched in 2012, and was introduced with iPhone 5. Later, Apple also launched the Lightning version. This accessory, which took three years to build, changed the traditional earbud design and it reached a new height in the balance of comfort and functionality.

In order to gauge the design, Apple worked with Stanford University to scan the ear canal structure of hundreds of people as reference data, and found a balance point that fits the comfort of most people and is not easy to fall. And to further improve the sound quality, EarPods also innovatively built multiple air holes to set the internal and external air pressure and high and low-frequency band sound quality.

If Apple drops EarPods on iPhone 12 this year, it's not really a bad thing. And besides, numerous Android phones no longer come with earphones, which contribute to minimizing the costs passed on to consumers and exchange more competitive smartphone pricing.

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