Kuo: Two New AirPods Models Likely in Late 2019 to Early 2020, Including One With 'All-New Design'

Apple will likely launch two new AirPods models as early as the fourth quarter of 2019, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In his latest research note, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo forecasts that two new ‌AirPods‌ models will likely go into mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, with Luxshare, Goertek, and Amkor expected to be Apple's primary suppliers of the new earphones.

Kuo believes one of the new ‌AirPods‌ models will feature an "all-new form factor design" and a "higher price" than the second-generation ‌AirPods‌, which cost $159 with a standard charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case. The other model is expected to be a more iterative update with the same pricing.

Both new ‌AirPods‌ models are said to adopt a new system-in-package design internally, which can improve assembly yield rates, save space internally, and reduce costs, but Kuo does not elaborate on outward-facing design changes.

The lead excerpt from Kuo's research note:

We expect Apple will likely launch two new ‌AirPods‌ models in 4Q19 at the earliest. One is the all-new form factor design at a higher price. The other's outlook and price will be the same as the current model's. A common internal design factor of these two new ‌AirPods‌ will be to abandon the current "SMT+RFPCB" design and change to adopt the SiP design instead for improving assembly yield rates, saving internal space and reducing cost.

Kuo is "positive on the demand for ‌AirPods‌" and Apple's wireless headphones market share, as he believes the "all-new design" of one of the new models "could boost the replacement demand and attract new users." He estimates ‌AirPods‌ shipments will reach 52 million units in 2019 and 75-85 million units in 2020.

Last month, Apple launched second-generation AirPods powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip, enabling hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original ‌AirPods‌. The second-generation ‌AirPods‌ feature the same outward design as the original.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman was first to reveal Apple's roadmap for AirPods, including the second-generation pair with "Hey ‌Siri‌" support, while DigiTimes also expects third-generation ‌AirPods‌ to launch by the end of the year.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
19 months ago
How about creating an air pod that fits people’s ears? That would be a step in the right direction.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

How about creating an air pod that fits people’s ears? That would be a step in the right direction.

They fit my ears perfectly
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

Fantastic. Their best accompaniment to the iPhone gets significantly better. Looks like I’ll be upgrading next year.

But I have no idea what SMT+RFPCB & SiP are.

Surface mount technology/Rigid Flexible Printed Circuit Board currently, moving to System in Package. They’re currently using a small printed circuit board with various components soldered to it; because of space constraints part of the board is flexible. They use this in the iPhone as well.

The new design is integrated into one package, it’s more dense and there are ways to mount some components vertically, attached by thin wires instead of being soldered to a flat surface. It’s not fabricated as a single chip like the A-series SoC in iPhones; there are still various discrete analog and digital components including passive devices, but they’re mounted on a single substrate and it’s all housed in the same package so it looks similar. The Apple Watch has used a SiP since its introduction four years ago.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

They fit my ears perfectly

If only everyone in the world had your same exact ears :rolleyes:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
So it took 2.5 years to update them the first time, and now <1 year before they are updated again? As if we needed another reason to believe that these 2nd gen AirPods were 100% supposed to release with the XS last fall. Seems like they just waited 6 months for AirPower.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

They fit my ears perfectly

They fit >85% of the population’s ears fine.

With the outer-design, it was always going to be difficult to have it fit 100% of people’s ears.

New design based on Apple's In-Ear Headphones would make sense for a noise cancellation version. That would not be a bad thing at all.

Yeah, the only issue could be comfort after wearing them for a while - the current design are great in that they don’t place any pressure on the inside of your ear, so they can be worn just about all day.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Top Stories: Apple Event Recap, Apple Watch Series 6, Redesigned iPad Air, and More

Saturday September 19, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week's news was obviously dominated by Apple's media event and the launch of iOS 14, but there was a lot to digest, so check out our summary below for the high-level view of the past week. With the exception of the massively redesigned iPad Air, all of the new hardware introduced this week is starting to appear on store shelves and on customers' doorsteps, while all of the new software...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...