Ming-Chi Kuo Expects Upgraded AirPods to Launch in Mid to Late 2018

Apple will release an upgraded version of AirPods in the second half of 2018, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

airpods
An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors:

Media reports over the past few days on brisk AirPods demand and Apple struggling to keep up with holiday season demand align with our findings and positive predictions on AirPods in several previous reports. […]

In 2018, we predict AirPods shipments will grow 100% YoY to 26-28mn units. We forecast the ASP of RFPCB for upgraded AirPods in 2H18 may increase, further benefiting business momentum of Unitech and Compeq.

Kuo said one internal change on the second-generation AirPods will include a "smaller quartz component," but he didn't provide any further details about new outward-facing features or improvements to expect.

Kuo said the new AirPods will continue to be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturer Inventec, with individual components supplied by fellow Taiwanese companies such as Unitech, Compeq, TXC, and HLJ.

Apple will also be releasing a new inductive AirPods charging case that will enable the wireless earphones to be charged with its new AirPower charging mat, which it said launches at some point in 2018.

Apple teased the AirPower mat at its iPhone X event back in September. It will be able to charge the Apple Watch Series 3, an iPhone X or iPhone 8 model, and AirPods inside the new charging case simultaneously.

airpower charging mat
As for the current AirPods, Kuo said Apple's suppliers are unable to make them quick enough to fully satisfy what he believes is robust holiday season demand, which likely explains why AirPods are sold out until January.

Kuo, who keeps a close eye on Apple's supply chain in Asia, said Apple has recruited Luxshare to help make AirPods, but RF printed-circuit boards for AirPods batteries are proving to be a key production bottleneck.

Kuo also reiterated his estimate that AirPods shipments will double in 2018 to 26-28 million units on a year-over-year basis, suggesting Apple will have sold around 13-14 million AirPods worldwide by the end of this year.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

iapplelove Avatar
43 months ago
I would love a black/SG pair to match my iPhone X.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HopefulHumanist Avatar
43 months ago
Better sound and noise cancelling and I’m in.
If they do this, I hope they a version without the noise cancellation. One of my favorite things about the AirPods is that I am not oblivious to the outside world while wearing them. I really like they I can still hear people trying to get my attention when I’m wearing them.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
43 months ago
What I want in AirPods 2:

- Wireless charging case included (hopefully that works on the same Qi charger for iPhone, but it might be too small for that.)
- Touch strip to allow for more precise controls on device. Slide up to increase volume, slide down to decrease. Keep the double tap controls, maybe add a single tap option to the top or bottom for next/previous.

Other than that, improved sound quality. I'm quite happy with everything else, even battery, though I guess battery on each individual AirPod could be improved. The case battery has been fine for me, I charge about once a week.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emdub Avatar
43 months ago
This has been my top purchase of 2017. I have never used headphones as much... and I've had everything from the original beats, to bluetooth gym models, the Bose Quiet Confort (I still use these on planes) etc etc.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RecentlyConverted Avatar
43 months ago
Better sound and noise cancelling and I’m in.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleWarMachine Avatar
43 months ago
Bluetooth 5.0 please to along with my iPhone X :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...