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Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the few Apple analysts worth listening to (his track record with predictions is impressive, if not perfect) believes that Apple will release two upgrades to its wireless AirPods by 2020, with the headphones’ popularity soaring during that period.
Specifically, he says Apple is gearing up to give the product a minor update in the first quarter of 2019. This update would make a few small changes to the technology, most notably adding wireless charging capabilities to the AirPods case. This is a move that has been expected ever since Apple announced the AirPower charging mat way back in 2017 – a product which has not been mentioned since, and is likely to never see the light of day.
Beyond that, Kuo expects a full redesign of the AirPods – a version 2.0 – to make waves sometime the following year. He doesn’t specify what exactly that new design will entail, but rumors have suggested features like sweat resistance, noise cancelation, and always-on Hey Siri could make an appearance.
He also predicts that unit sales will increase more than sixfold over four years, from 16 million in 2017 to 100 million or more in 2021. AirPods are Apple’s fastest growing product at the moment, and with the smartphone market saturated and iPhones lasting longer than ever, users may increasingly start spending their money on AirPods instead of an iPhone upgrade – especially as there’s no real competition in that space yet. If you own an iPhone, AirPods are an exceptional choice for a truly wireless earbud.