According to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we should expect to see new AirPods by the end of 2018, or the start of 2019, with a full re-design coming late 2020. Here’s everything we know so far.
AirPods are the first truly-wireless earbuds. No wires, no cables, just take them out of the case and put them in your ears – magical. Many believe that AirPods is the most innovative Apple product in years, and has built quite the fan-following.
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has no plans to ditch AirPods any time soon. In fact, Kuo says that Apple has big plans for its truly-wireless earbuds.
Kuo says that Apple is gearing up to release an upgraded AirPods model that supports Qi-wireless charging sometime in the first quarter of 2019. Kuo goes on to note that Apple plans on a fully re-designed AirPods model to come out sometime in early 2020.
Kuo believes that AirPods is Apple’s “most popular accessory, ever.” He also says that people are more willing to upgrade to AirPods 2 rather than a new iPhone. Kuo expects that shipments of AirPods are on track to hit over 100 million units by 2021, up from 16 million units in 2017.
We expect AirPods 2 to feature Bluetooth 5.0 because, in October 2018, Apple received Bluetooth 5.0 certification for models “A2031 and A2032” from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. Furthermore, Kuo also says the new AirPods will have a ‘rigid-flex board,’ and an upgraded hinge design. Kuo believes that the new hinge design is due to higher thermal requirements for wireless charging. He also says that these new updates have a ~60% higher component cost.
Other notable features we expect is hands-free “Hey, Siri” functionality, increased audio quality, and, of course, wireless charging capability. Bluetooth 5.0 also allows for longer range, faster data transfer, and quicker pairing.
No details have surfaced regarding the re-designed 2020 AirPods, but we hope to see a revised design, water resistance, sweat resistance, better audio quality, and possible health integrations.
Kuo did not mention any update regarding the AirPower charging mat. But, I do hope that Apple did not scrap the project as I cannot wait to get my hands on one.
You can purchase the current-generation AirPods on Apple’s website, and they will run you $159 USD.