It's easy to look at Apple's headphone strategy as nothing more than the company expanding its iPhone accessories. However, there is much more value found with wireless headphones, and it comes back to controlling sound on the go.
It is not unreasonable to assume Apple will have at least 25M people wearing wireless Apple-branded headphones (containing a Wx chip) by the end of the year. Add in Beats, and the number is even higher. By the end of 2019, the number may exceed 50M people. Given the very high customer satisfaction levels found with the initial version of AirPods, one can assume current AirPods users are likely to buy updated versions of the product down the road.
Instead of just thinking of this as 50M people wearing Apple wireless headphones, we are looking at Apple building a user base for products capable of delivering a digital voice assistant and intelligent sound on the go. That is a very powerful value proposition.Above Avalon daily email (subscribers only), March 12
This is a great piece by Neil Cybart over at Above Avalon. When Siri actually begin to provide real value to users, they'll already have not just tens of millions - but hundreds (counting Apple Watch, iPhones, Macs) touch points already in users hands.