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.

airpods
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 3, AirPods Pro
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

H.E. Pennypacker Avatar
43 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)
David1964 Avatar
43 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)
PickUrPoison Avatar
43 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)
bigjnyc Avatar
43 months ago
They fit my ears perfectly
If only everyone in the world had your same exact ears :rolleyes:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mad Mac Maniac Avatar
43 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)
Ralfi Avatar
43 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)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...