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.

We attribute AirPods’ dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2018, 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.

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Author: Marshmallow

Marshmallow Android is BT Ireland’s Head of Sales for Republic of Ireland domestic multi-site companies, indigenous MNCs and public sector accounts. He is responsible for the direction and control of all sales activity in the region. He has over 10 years management experience from high growth start-ups to more established businesses. He’s led teams in Ireland, India and China across various industries (ICT, On-Line Recruitment, Corporate Training and International Education).