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Apple's AirPods Headed for Slowdown, Says Top Analyst

Ming-Chi Kuo cut his forecast for 2021 AirPods shipments by Apple to 75-80 million units, indicating a 10%-15% year-over-year decline.
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AirPods, one of Apple’s  (AAPL)  fastest-growing products over the past few years, may be headed for a major slowdown, according to respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities.

In commentary cited by online publication Cult of Mac, Kuo cut his forecast for 2021 AirPods shipments by 30%-35% to 75-80 million units, indicating a 10%-15% year-over-year decline. He noted that the consensus expectation is for Apple to sell 110-120 million AirPods in 2021, indicating 25%–30% year-over-year growth.

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AirPods have been around for five years, with sales rising from 14 million to 16 million units in 2017 to 90 million 2020, Kuo said.

Now Apple is working on AirPods 3. Market chatter was that they would be released this month, according to Cult of Mac. But Kuo said he believes the new headphones won’t be produced until the third quarter.

The news hasn’t hurt Apple shares, which recently traded at $123.29, up 1.87%.

Meanwhile, Apple told TechCrunch Friday that it’s discontinuing its full-sized HomePod smart speaker this year, instead going all in on the HomePod mini.

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Also on the Apple front, it could be on the fast track to a market capitalization of as much as $3 trillion -- about $1 trillion more than where it is now -- if the long-rumored Apple Car begins rolling off assembly lines and into peoples’ driveways.

That's according to Citigroup analyst Jim Suva, who says he sees Cupertino, Calif-based Apple already going down that road, even though an Apple Car has yet to be confirmed by Apple or even seen on a drawing board.

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