Famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that an AirPods upgrade is coming next year, to be followed by an entirely new version of the wireless earbuds in the following year.
Earlier this year, a Bloomberg report claimed that Apple is planning to include noise-canceling functionality and water resistance to a new version of the AirPods that will arrive in 2019. It was also said that there remains a possibility that the new AirPods will feature biometric sensors such as a heart rate monitor, but with a price tag that will be higher than the first model’s $159.
Kuo’s prediction for the AirPods version that will be released in 2019 is for a much tamer device. According to the usually reliable analyst, Apple may be adding wireless charging support, Bluetooth 5.0, and a revised W-series chip.
The mention of wireless charging support raises the possibility that Apple is soon launching the wireless charging case that was originally unveiled in 2017 with the AirPower mat. Kuo added that the case will have a “rigid-flex board” internal component upgrade, and that it will also have a redesigned hinge to accommodate higher thermal requirements, and to support appearance changes.
The changes to the 2020 AirPods, meanwhile, are predicted by Kuo to be much bigger. Kuo claims the 2020 AirPods will have an all-new design, though he did not provide any further details on how the redesigned wireless earbuds would look.
Kuo’s prediction for AirPods sales is very optimistic. The analyst estimated 16 million AirPods sold in 2017 and 28 million this year. However, Kuo believes that 55 million units will be sold in 2019, 80 million in 2020, and 110 million in 2021.
It remains to be seen whether the upgraded AirPods and the redesigned AirPods will allow Apple to make such drastic improvements in its annual sales for the wireless earbuds.
Kuo is a reliable analyst who regularly shares rumors and news on Apple products and services. While Kuo has earned the public’s trust, his predictions should always be taken with a grain of salt until Apple makes an official announcement.
Apple’s October 30 event this year launched a new iPad Pro, a new MacBook Air, and a new Mac Mini. There were speculations that the new AirPods would be unveiled at the event, but if Kuo’s predictions are correct, that would mean that the wireless earbuds will be making appearances in 2019 and 2020.