According to a recent research note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans on an AirPods 2 launch date sometime in the second half of 2018.
AirPods 2 Leak
In an excerpt of the leaked report, obtained by MacRumors, Ming-Chi Kuo revealed the findings of KGI Securities — a group with a significant track record of reliability when it comes to Apple leaks and predictions:
“Media reports over the past few days on brisk AirPods demand and Apple struggling to keep up with holiday season demand align with our findings and positive predictions on AirPods in several previous reports…In 2018, we predict AirPods shipments will grow 100% YoY to 26-28mn units. We forecast the ASP of RFPCB for upgraded AirPods in 2H18 may increase, further benefiting business momentum of Unitech and Compeq.”
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Kuo also had mentioned that the AirPods 2 will ship with a “smaller quartz component,” but no details about exact upgrades or features were included in the report. The new AirPods will be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturer Inventec, just as with the original product. Parts for the devices will be sourced from fellow Taiwanese companies like Unitech, Compeq, TXC, and HLJ.
MacRumors also reports that Apple will release a new charging case that allows for wireless charging using a new AirPower charging mat. The mat is also anticipated to launch at some point in 2018. The existence of the AirPower charging mat is not a new revelation, as it was originally teased back at the iPhone X event in September. It can be used to charge the Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and AirPods simultaneously. A potential release date, however, is new news.
The current generation of AirPods are in short supply and likely won’t be back in stock until January, as Apple struggles to keep up with the demand for their incredibly popular earbuds. The fact that a holiday season will pass by without the availability of a major accessory to the new generation of iPhones is an unfortunate consequence that will cost Apple the opportunity to make some major sales.
Kuo has also stated that Apple has recruited Luxshare to help with manufacturing AirPods, but the primary limiting factor for production is the lack of availability of RF printed-circuit boards used for the AirPods battery.
AirPods 2 Launch Date
As mentioned above, the AirPods 2 launch date will likely be in the latter half of 2018. With Apple currently seeing great success with the recent launch of their new generation of phones — particularly the iPhone X — it will be interesting to see how the launch of a new product like the AirPods 2 will continue to drive sales.
With an AirPods 2 launch date coming late next year, it’s possible that they will be intended for use with the next generation of phones. Apple, like most smartphone manufacturers, generally sticks to a yearly release schedule when it comes to their new flagships. With the newest generation launching just a few months ago, the AirPods 2 could line up pretty perfectly with the launch of the latest and greatest from Apple — which would be a big boon for business
However, it’s clear that Apple is already struggling to keep up with demand for their most recent AirPods. Will the launch of the popular earbuds’ successor be able to keep up with the intense demand accompanying the launch of new phones? It’s very likely that early adopters of next year’s flagships will be looking to add on the upgraded AirPods 2 to their purchase, especially considering the fact that Apple seems to have moved past the inclusion of a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Despite there being a wide variety of Bluetooth headphones on the market that interface well with current iPhones, it seems as if the majority of buyers are sticking with Apple’s take on the wireless earbud.
If Apple can manage to keep up with the intense demand that will follow shortly after an AirPods 2 launch date, they will position themselves to make some incredible profits over next year’s holiday season. While many times the product shortage isn’t something that is easy for the company control, it’s definitely in Apple’s best interest to do all they can to avoid a repeat of the recent unfortunate lack of AirPods availability.