Apple always intends to give more reasons to the users to upgrade to the newer versions of its products, and it is possibly doing the same with its wireless AirPods. According to Bloomberg, the tech giant is reportedly working on a new model of the popular headphones, which would come with several upgrades. The new model will arrive this year itself, Bloomberg claims.
Internally at Apple, the newer version of the wireless earbuds is being referred to as B288. Apple AirPods’ new model will reportedly make it easier for the users to summon Siri. Currently, users need to double-tap the sides of the earbuds to trigger Siri via AirPods. However, the new model, which would come up with an upgraded wireless chip, would allow users to activate Siri with the “Hey, Siri” voice command – similar to Amazon’s Echo devices or the iPhone, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg report also talks about a 2019 version for AirPods. The 2019 version would reportedly come with a water-resistance feature. However, the report notes that the water-resistance would just be enough to protect the earphones against “splashes of water and rain,” unlike the full submersion, like with the current Apple Watch. The report, however, notes that Apple’s plan may change or get delayed.
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Apple is doing the right thing by putting AirPods on a similar update cycle as iPhone or its other popular products. However, it will be interesting to see, if users also frequently update this accessory as they do with other Apple products, considering its premium price tag.
Another point worth noting is the revelation of an upgraded wireless chip. The AirPods with W1 chip already offer the most advanced Bluetooth audio setup. So, further improvement in the tech will only add to Apple’s lead as many of the headphone manufacturers are still facing issues to offer foolproof sync between wireless headsets and smartphones. Possibly, this year’s version could come with W2, which was released with Apple Watch last year.
Apple came up with AirPods in 2016 alongside the iPhone 7. Since their debut, the wireless headsets are speculated to be among the top-performing Apple product. Infact, the AirPods played a vital role in taking wireless headphones mainstream. Soon after the launch of the AirPods, other big tech firms such as Sony, Samsung, Google, Motorola and Bose came up with a similar product.
According to an estimate from research firm NPD Group last year, Apple AirPods –since their debut – attracted 85% of the money spent on the wireless headphones in the U.S. Further, based on the online shopping data provided by Adobe, Apple’s wireless earbuds were the top-selling electronic products during Cyber Monday last year.
The success of the AirPods can also be seen from the fact that for the first time Apple’s other product category, which includes products such as Apple TV, Watch, AirPods, Beats headphones, and more, generated revenue of $5 billion (36% growth year-over-year) in company’s fiscal first-quarter.
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities estimated that Apple shipped 13 to 14 million AirPods last year. Kuo, who is very bullish on the accessory, also expects the shipment to double to about 26-28 million units. It must be noted that Kuo, in December, also predicted of an upgraded version of AirPods coming in 2018.