Airpods: The Platform

A few months back, I bought into the hype cycle and purchased a pair of Apple Airpods. As an avid audio-listener (always consuming music, podcasts, and books), I have not at all regretted this decision and, in fact, wish I had caved in sooner. Airpods, in my opinion, are Apple’s “best release” since the iPad. 

They are the inflection point for the audio space.

Apple nailed Airpods by creating an awesome, nuanced user experience that neatly flows into an active lifestyle. What excites me most about Airpods – more than their design, or sound quality, or insanely fast charging times – is their “wedge” into becoming the next big platform. 

Let’s make this assumption…some time in the future…we will all be wearing some sort of audio input/output device. Another assumption being Airpods (and Apple broadly) is uniquely positioned to accelerate this inevitable shift and bring more consumers into the audio sphere. 

What are the interesting opportunities in this world that have not yet been built today? With everyone connected – via audio and microphone – what will we want? 

Who will build the Google for Airpods?

Who will build the Twitter?

Who will build the Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook?

I think these types of shifts are inevitable and it will be really interesting to see which startups and large companies are able to make a dent here. I’d bet on a combination of both…perhaps Apple builds the platform (as they have done so well in the past) and we see smaller companies emerge. 

Though, perhaps…we all start wearing wearable AR devices? What’s the need for Airpods then? 

Also published on Medium.