Of all the widely ridiculed tech products, Apple’s AirPods have experienced an extraordinary turnaround. Back in 2016, they were roundly mocked by the tech industry… But fast-forward to 2019 and, somehow, the £159-a-pair little pods have transformed into a bona fide status symbol.
It’s continues to amaze me that Apple products have a value proposition that is so easily misunderstood upon release. Months or sometimes years later there’s a sudden collective public understanding, even though revenues typically reveal the product as a financial success long before its recognized as a social one. The next biggest ridiculed item I can recall is the iPad when it was released in 2010. Widely written off as “just a giant iPhone”, pundits were missing the forest through the trees. What made the iPad a success was exactly that: it’s a giant iPhone. For context, Apple sold 43 million iPads last year.