After the initial success of the first-generation AirPods, reputed KGI Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is set to launch upgraded AirPods in the second half of 2018. The Cupertino giant already hinted the new development by showcasing a new AirPods charging case at the iPhone X event in September. The new AirPods are reported to have a smaller quartz component.
As reported by 9to5Mac, Kuo predicted that Apple will address the supply constraints of battery rigid-flex PCB, and will double the shipments of its AirPods by next year to more than 26 million units. The analyst also reportedly stated that the first quarter results would beat the usual sales fall compared to holiday seasonality.
Kuo didn't reveal any changes that would accompany the new Apple AirPods in 2018. However, he stated that a smaller quartz component will be a part of the upgraded model. As we mentioned, the analyst claimed that the new AirPods will be unveiled sometime in the second half of 2018.
At its iPhone launch event in September, Apple previewed a new AirPower wireless charging pad that can charge an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X alongside an Apple Watch and AirPods. The unified wireless charging pad is set to hit stores in the US in early next year. The new AirPods charging case that was unveiled at the September event was also supposed to join the AirPower charging pad next year. However, it would now make more sense for the company to launch the new case alongside the upgraded AirPods later next year.
Earlier this year, an NPD Group report claimed that Apple's AirPods are leading the market of wireless earbuds in the US by capturing 85 percent of share. The report also mentioned that over 900,000 units of wireless headphones were sold in the country since the start of 2017.
Offerings such as Samsung's IconX, Doppler's Here Plus, and Nuheara's IQbudz also exist in the market to counter AirPods. However, Apple's growing ecosystem is beating the competition and making its native wireless earbuds the market leader.