Apple is expected to bring out an upgraded version of AirPods some time during the second half of 2018, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple’s wireless earphones were launched last year to support the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as they ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack. AirPods were seen as a step for the Cupertino giant towards a wireless future.
MacRumours got hold of Kuo’s latest research note which says, “Media reports over the past few days on brisk AirPods demand and Apple struggling to keep up with holiday season demand align with our findings and positive predictions on AirPods in several previous reports. […] In 2018, we predict AirPods shipments will grow 100% YoY to 26-28mn units. We forecast the ASP of RFPCB for upgraded AirPods in 2H18 may increase, further benefiting business momentum of Unitech and Compeq.”
Kuo’s latest note keeps in line to a report earlier this month where he noted that AirPods shipment in 2018 will be double the numbers seen this year, or in other words roughly around 26-28 million units. Without going much into detail regarding the upgraded AirPods, Kuo does mention that they will include a “smaller quartz component.” On the outside, we expect the design to remain the same. The first generation AirPods featured Apple’s W1 chip, which could be upgraded to a W2 chip next year. Of course, this is purely a guessing game as of now.
The analyst added that the new AirPods will continue to be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturer Inventec while individual components will be provided by Unitech, Compeq, TXC, and HLJ. We also know that Apple will launch inductive AirPods charging cases next year that will support the new AirPower wireless charging mat showcased during the company’s iPhone event in September.
Kuo notes that Apple suppliers aren’t able to keep up with the demands for the current AirPods during the holiday season, which is why they are sold out until January. Estimating that Apple will double shipments next year suggests that the Cupertino giant will have sold around 13-14 million units by the end of 2017.
Since launching the AirPods in December last year, around 85 per cent of the money spent on totally wireless headphones in the US were spent on Apple’s wireless earphones as of September. According to one study from May, AirPods enjoy an impressive 98 per cent customer satisfaction.
Source by intoday..