An Apple analyst expects new AirPods with waterproofing features later this year.
According to a new research note from Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives (via Phillip Elmer-DeWitt), Apple is planning on releasing the third-generation, water resistant “AirPods 3” later this year.
“Lastly from a new product perspective,” writes Ives,” we are expecting AirPods new version 3 to be launched towards year-end ahead of holiday season with these AirPods expected to have some design enhancements and will be waterproof with higher price points.”
The two most important points he mentions here are the fact that the earbuds will be “waterproof” and see “some design enhancements.” To this point, both generations of AirPods have not shipped with an IP certification against water. While there were some early rumours that the second-generation AirPods would see the inclusion of the feature, it didn’t happen.
As for “design enhancements,” there’s a lot more grey area here. Some of the current rumours regarding the third generation of AirPods include a complete redesign and adding noise cancellation features. Apple is also reportedly developing over-the-ear headphones with noise cancellation that could launch as early as this year.
In the same research note, Ives also states that iPhone demand is currently stable, despite what many other Apple analysts have been saying recently. Ives remains confident in Wedbush’s previous forecast of 180 million iPhone unit sales for 2019.
Ives also states that while the Chinese market continues to be “tough to navigate,” demand from Chinese customers is unwavering, or even increased due to Apple’s recent price cuts in the country.
Overall, the analyst things global iPhone demand is on a “slight uptick,” and expects Apple to unveil three new iPhone models this fall, with the XS and XS Max successors seeing a triple-camera system and ultra-wide lens, while the XR successor will see a dual-camera module upgrade.