GQ and Jony Ive talk about AirPods design and popularity

Jon Wilde from GQ interviewed Apple’s renowned Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive, to discuss AirPods. The interview covered their design, integration in user’s lives and the initial reaction when it launched. The timing of this interview could not have been more appropriate. Just a few days ago, Apple launched second-generation AirPods with wireless charging case.

2019 AirPods

Although second generation AirPods have the same design as their predecessors, they are powered by a new H1 Chip for faster pairing and wireless connectivity, longer battery life, and Hey Siri voice command support. The new AirPods can be purchased with the wireless case for $199. They are also available without the wireless case for $159. A standalone wireless case is also available for $79, which can be used with both first-generation and second-generation AirPods.

As a mixture of opinions, based on personal experience and Ive’s insight, the article is an interesting piece. When asked about the initial public reaction to AirPods at the time of  launch two years ago, Ive attributed the skepticism to lack of knowledge of the product due to its novelty.

“I think this was common on the initial reaction to the AirPods—it’s a reaction based on an academic understanding of them, rather than a practical daily understanding of them..”

Discussing the design, Ive talked about the long hours spent on perfecting the hardware’s shape, color and smaller, yet important, details like the magnetic click sound and force of the magnets required to close the lid of the case.

Retailing for $159 and more, Wilde accepts that AirPods are an expensive pair of earbuds but their practical use is worth the price. He commends the practical and smart functionality of the product in everyday use like fast connectivity and setting taps for various actions like skipping tracks. He was also in awe of the revolutionary ease AirPods have brought in using wireless Bluetooth headphones by eliminating the pairing issue.

You get it the first time you slip out the right ‘Pod to order a coffee, then pop it back in 30 seconds later to have the music automatically come back to life.

Satisfying and delightful are some of the keywords used in the article to explain experience of using AirPods. Unofficial reports claim that AirPods are currently Apple’s best selling product. The company allegedly sold 16 million units in 2018, and the number is expected to increase to 55 million this year. Although AirPods were welcomed with skepticism at the time of launch, they have now turned into a social phenomenon. Snapchat stories with the famous tagline “I don’t speak broke”, memes, and trending hashtags on Twitter reflect its strong public acceptance and demand. Last Christmas, Apple’s earbuds were the one of the most requested gift items.

In the end, we like to agree with Wilde that AirPods are worth their price. From design to functionality, this product is a masterpiece.