Apple is making a killing ... on the $10 Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter

4 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in News

I almost died of laughter at the gym last year. I was plodding away on a treadmill listening to Bill Burr complain about his new iPhone. To be more precise, he was ranting about his new iPhone's lack of a headphone jack and how he kept losing those Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone adapter. While on the road, he eventually lost one too many of the annoying little things, headed to a nearby Apple store and asked to all the adapters they had in stock because he had accepted the fact that he'd ultimately lose them all.

The story cut too close to home. As a wired headphone holdout (I refuse to charge my headphones, and I love my Klipsches), I've gone through several headphones adapters myself.

As we all know by now, the latest iPhones don't have a standard headphone jack. It's become a common "feature" for new smartphones, with manufacturers betting that consumer will ultimately switch to wireless headphoens. They're partially right, too, as Apple's ($NASDAQ:AAPL) wireless AirPods headphones continue to top sales charts

But consistently right behnd AirPods on Best Buy's sales charts are those tiny adapters that Bill Burr and I keep losing. Below is a snapshot of the best-selling products at Best Buy for today:

Best Buy Sales Ranks: June 26, 2018

Name

Brand

UPC

Category Rank

Price

Amazon - Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote - Black

Amazon

848719083781

12

39.99

Apple - AirPods - White

Apple

888462858410

14

159.99

Apple - Lightning-to-3.5mm Headphone Adapter - White

Apple

190198001757

22

9.99

2-Year Geek Squad Product Replacement

Geek Squad®

400047370010

34

9.99

Webroot Internet Security + Antivirus 2018 (3-Device) (6 Month Subscription) - Android|Windows|iOS [Digital]

Webroot

400064109327

35

29.99

AppleCare+ for Apple Watch - 2 Year Plan

Apple

888462697774

37

49

Apple - EarPods with Lightning Connector - White

Apple

190198001696

39

23.99

Dell - Inspiron 15.6" Laptop - AMD A6-Series - 4GB Memory - AMD Radeon R4 - 500GB Hard Drive - Black

Dell

884116277453

41

219.99

Apple - Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS), 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band - Space Gray Aluminum

Apple

190198509598

44

359

Internet Security  (3-Device) (6 Month Subscription) - Android|Mac|Windows|iOS [Digital]

Trend Micro

400064111559

45

29.99

Amazon's Fire TV Stick continues to be a top seller, but right after it and the aforementioned AirPods is our Lightning-to-3.5mm Headphone Adapter. Ever since the adapter was available in October 2016, it's been a consistent best-seller at Best Buy.

The above chart shows the Lightning-to-3.5mm Headphone Adapter's sales rank at Best Buy for the past couple years. A lower sales rank, of course, is better. As you can see, the adapter has been a top-25 seller for the better part of the past year.

It's hard to say how much profit is in these dongles — they contain tiny digital-to-analog converters — but the fact remains that it's the company's second-best-selling product at America's number-one electronics retailer, ahead of its EarPods and Apple Watch.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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