Four Interesting Things About Apple's New $300 Beats Headphones

Event: Beats announces new $299 Solo2 Wireless on-ear headphones. 

1) These headphones are the same price as an iPad mini 2.  Higher-end Beats headphones go for $399; the price of iPad mini 3. The iPad mini will likely go down as having the lowest margins out of any mainstream Apple product in recent years (closer to 25-30% vs. iPhone's 55-60%). I would venture a guess that these Beats headphones probably have margins closer to iPhone (if not exceeding) and that is before taking into account any savings from Apple buying the company. 

2) Beats is using color as a price differentiator. Red, black, white, and blue costs $299, while Stone Grey, Hunter Green, Imperial Violet, Blush Rose, and Sapphire Blue costs $199. Reminds me a little bit of iPhone 5c.  Interestingly, the red is only available at Verizon (I assume some prior business partnership?) Edit: Looks like the five additional colors is actually for the wired Solo2. Color still being used as differentiator but for different models. 

3) I estimate Apple will sell around 2-3M Beats headphones in 2015. A high estimate would be around 4M. With an average selling price of around $285, Apple may bring in $600-800M of annual revenue, or 10% of Apple's old "accessory" revenue which is not a big line item when compared to overall revenue. These headphones will not move any financial needle for Apple. Instead these devices are all about brand positioning and mindshare (getting people to see them and talking about them). 

4) Looking at $299 headphones makes it that much more amazing to think how Apple was able to turn generic white EarPods that came free with iPods and iPhones into such a powerful marketing tool up to a few years ago. 

Bonus: I expect to see more interesting things come from the wireless on-ear/in-ear headphone space.