It has been rumored for a while that Apple has been working on an improved set of AirPods, and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now offered more details in a report viewed by 9to5Mac. He believes we will see AirPods with wireless charging support in the first quarter of 2019 and a whole new design in 2020.
According to Kuo, Apple’s AirPods are extremely popular, and demand will likely increase dramatically in the upcoming years. He expects the number of units sold to increase from 16 million in 2017 to over 100 million by 2021. He considers the AirPods to be one of Apple’s most popular accessories.
The AirPods with wireless charging support are referred to as the 1Q2019 model, and 9to5Mac said this sounds similar to the wireless charging case Apple announced with the AirPower mat in 2017.
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Kuo also said the AirPods with wireless charging support will come with some upgraded Bluetooth features, including better range and stronger connectivity. The case may also have an upgraded hinge. Some of the new components are expected to make the earphones more expensive than previous models.
In addition to this upcoming, Kuo also hinted at a redesigned version of the AirPods, which is expected to debut in 2020. However, he highlighted the Airpods with wireless charging more than the redesigned model. He also didn’t say anything about the AirPower mat, which has been delayed for a long time. Interestingly, 9to5Mac suggests an obvious link between the AirPods case and the AirPower mat, although Kuo didn’t. However, he did say in a report in October that the new AirPods and AirPower could come out by the end of the year.
Other reports suggest Apple will upgrade its headphone line-up significantly next year. According to Bloomberg, Apple was working on a new high-end set of wireless AirPods equipped with the latest noise-cancellation technology. Moreover, the headphones are expected to sport water-resistant technology and an over-ear design.
Barclays analysts also said in a report seen by by 9to5Mac that Apple will debut the headphones with active noise-cancellation technology some time during 2019. We expect Apple to reveal a powerful set of headphones you can even take to the gym, given that they will likely be equipped with noise cancellation and sweat resistance.