Apple's new AirPods Pro could serve as a secondary pair of headphones, not a replacement for your old AirPods, says CEO Tim Cook.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook said he believes some customers will buy the new AirPods Pro, which are $90 more than the base model, as a secondary pair of headphones for instances when they want noise cancellation.
- The comments were made in response to an analyst question about driving wearables upgrades following the company's fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday.
- Products like AirPods have become increasingly important for Apple as its wearable business has grown — helping offset declining iPhone sales.
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Apple finally launched its long-rumored AirPods Pro on Wednesday, a revamped version of the company's popular wireless headphones that adds a new design and noise cancellation.
The headphones represent a noticeable change from the company's regular AirPods, introducing a new design with three different silicon ear tip size options, a transparency mode for letting in sound from your surroundings, and a higher price of $250.
But Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn't believe that the AirPods Pro necessarily have to be a replacement for your current AirPods. When speaking on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, he positioned them as also being complementary to the older models.
"But I would guess that one particularly in the early going will be people that have AirPods today and want to have, also have a pair for the times that they need noise cancellation," he said in response to an analyst question about driving upgrades of the company's wearables products.
Apple's new AirPods Pro are $90 more than the standard second-generation AirPods Apple launched in March for $160, and $50 pricier than the regular AirPods with the wireless charging case, which Apple sells for $200.
AirPods have become an increasingly important part of Apple's business, helping drive its booming wearables business as iPhone shipments continue to decline. Apple's wearables, home, and accessories business, the division that includes AirPods and the Apple Watch among other products, grew to $6.5 billion, the company revealed in its fourth-quarter earnings. Its wearables business saw growth of more than 50%.
Apple doesn't break out revenue figures for specific products within its wearables, home, and accessories division. But Luca Maestri, Apple's chief financial officer, did say that performance in the category was partially driven by growth across the Apple Watch and AirPods product lines. Cook also said that AirPods "just keep hitting new highs."