Users can expect AirPods with a wireless charging case in 2019, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. This will be followed by the launch of an entirely new model of the headphones in 2020 he said. In a recent note, he also wrote that AirPods are Apple’s most popular accessory ever and predicted sales of between 26 and 28 million units in 2018.
Wireless Charging Case and New Model On Way
Apple first announced wireless charging for AirPods in 2017. Mr. Kuo, of TF International Securities, believes the case will finally arrive next year. He described a “model with wireless charging support” and said that the charging case will be upgraded with a “rigid-flex board” (via TheNextWeb).
Mr. Kuo is well-known for his accurate Apple predictions. In the same note, he said that an all-new model of AirPods will arrive in 2020.
Apple’s Most Popular Accessory Ever
Mr. Kuo wrote that Apple’s AirPods have the fast growth momentum of any of the firm’s products. He said that he believes that sales will be between 26-28 million in 2018, up from between 14 and 16 million in 2017. He predicted that sales will reach 100 million by 2021.
Mr. Kuo wrote (via MacRumors)
We attribute AirPods’ dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2017, 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.
He also said (via CNBC): “We believe that there is a greater likelihood of legacy iPhone users buying AirPods than upgrading to new iPhone models.”