Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released his latest research note, predicting what’s next for Apple’s AirPods. Kuo says the long-awaited wireless charging case for AirPods is now expected in early 2019, while an all-new design is pegged for 2020 (via MacRumors):
We attribute AirPods’ dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively) to 1) the upgraded model with wireless charging support to benefit shipments to launch in 1Q19, 2) the all-new design model to boost replacement demand to launch in 1Q20, 3) an innovative user experience, and 4) high integration with iOS and Mac products. In summary, AirPods is Apple’s most popular accessory ever, and it currently has the best growth momentum among Apple products.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported Apple was working on two new models of AirPods, one which was said to have wireless charging to possibly debut this year (that hasn’t happened yet), while another design with a water-resistant design, pegged for 2019. Other future features could include “always-on” Siri (not sure how useful that would be since Siri is…Siri).
It’s probably safe to assume new versions of AirPods are in the pipeline, but as to when they will debut, that’s the million dollar question. AirPods with a wireless charging case are probably set to debut at the same time as Apple’s delayed AirPower wireless charging mat (which is on the verge of being vapourware).