Kuo: AirPods With Wireless Charging Case Expected in Early 2019, All-New Model in Early 2020

In a brief research note highlighting Apple's suppliers for its popular AirPods wireless earphones, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that new AirPods with a wireless charging case will debut in the first quarter of 2019, with an "all-new design model" following in the first quarter of 2020. The updates are predicted to drive strong sales growth for the product.

airpods 1 and 2

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.

Kuo notes that fewer than 5 percent of iPhone users currently own AirPods, and with over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide, there are "great potential growth opportunities" for the accessory.

Nearly a year ago, Kuo predicted Apple would launch upgraded AirPods in the second half of 2018, but Apple's difficulties in bringing its AirPower charging mat to market have undoubtedly impacted its AirPods plans to some degree. Just ahead of Apple's October media event, Kuo noted he was uncertain about the timing for an AirPods update, indicating it could come late in the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of 2019.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: AirPods

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Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
72 months ago
Not going to buy unless they feature a more substantial and streamlined redesign.



Attachment Image
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Joseph C Avatar
72 months ago
New design with a $90 higher price. Just $249.

Existing model stays in lineup as “we want as many customers as possible to enjoy AirPods”. Now just $99.

Obvious Apple will continue their hike strategy, with a new model and higher price.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chelsel Avatar
72 months ago
Really wish they didn't leak sound as much as they do...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Quu Avatar
72 months ago
Bought two pairs so far. I'm sure I'll buy more, it's really an excellent product simple as that.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbednarz Avatar
72 months ago
Controversial opinion:
Wired headphones are so much better.

You don'y have a mini-DAC feed by a low-bandwidth, low-energy protocol.
Also, you are limited driving the speakers with a small battery.

The 3.5" or 6,3" jack is not obsolete at all.
It's just that marketing wants to push extremely miniaturised products.
I could not disagree more. So few people actually care about anything that you posted. The sound quality is more than good enough for most people. Just walking around and working out are much better without a cord hanging in front of you the whole time.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jsmith189 Avatar
72 months ago
Why not just wait then?

I mean, I know why, but...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)