Tech analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco did some number crunching and has concluded AirPods will soon be as large of a moneymaker as the iPod was at its peak. By his educated estimations, Apple could earn about $4 billion in revenue from the wireless earbuds in Q1 2020 — a 51% year-over-year growth.
Apple's new cash cow — Dediu accurately predicted the Apple Watch would surpass the iPod in $4 billion quarterly revenue in Q4 of 2018 — a feat that took a little over three years. He predicts AirPods will reach the same revenue slightly quicker.
Biggest rivals lag behind — Despite there being an endless number of true wireless earbuds to choose from at various price points, AirPods continue to dominate; they made up an estimated 60% of the worldwide market share for wireless headphones in Q4 2018.
The rapid AirPods growth is unlikely to change. Microsoft's Surface Earbuds were pushed back from launching at the end of this year into spring 2020. Google's Pixel Buds, which were announced in October alongside the Pixel 4, also isn't shipping until spring 2020. With nobody to really challenge AirPods, the earbuds will likely keep cruising to the top, especially if Apple continues to release improved versions like the AirPods Pro.