Apple’s widely rumoured ‘iPhone 7’ wireless earbuds, which are now more commonly being dubbed as the “AirPods”, are expected to feature a custom-designed Bluetooth-like wireless chip that will not only target the high end headphone market, but will also pave the way for new smart home and smart car accessories, according to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities (via AppleInsider).
The analyst said in his recent research note that wireless headphones will soon become the default option for many iPhone users. While he did not give any indication of how it will be priced, he did say that Apple will target the growing market of high end wireless headphones with Apple-branded “AirPods”, while leaving the Beats-branded ones for the medium-priced headphone market.
With its own custom “Bluetooth-like” chip, Kuo believes Apple could use proprietary low-power wireless communications for other functions beyond headphones, including smart home accessories and an intelligent automobile.
Kuo believes that Apple may in fact deviate from Bluetooth specifications, given what he called the company’s “higher requirements for power-saving, communication specs and potential rapid growth.”
Kuo also predicts that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will likely be manufacturing the wireless communications chip for Apple, while Cheng Uei Precision and Inventec are expected to handle final assembly of the headphones.
Although recently leaked images of purported ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ packaging show “AirPods” bundled with the upcoming iPhones, Kuo however does not expect Apple to bundle its wireless headphones with any of the new iPhone models.