Skip to main content

Apple AirPods will see upgrade in 2019, all-new design by 2020, analyst predicts

Famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that an AirPods upgrade is coming next year, to be followed by an entirely new version of the wireless earbuds in the following year.

Earlier this year, a Bloomberg report claimed that Apple is planning to include noise-canceling functionality and water resistance to a new version of the AirPods that will arrive in 2019. It was also said that there remains a possibility that the new AirPods will feature biometric sensors such as a heart rate monitor, but with a price tag that will be higher than the first model’s $159.

Kuo’s prediction for the AirPods version that will be released in 2019 is for a much tamer device. According to the usually reliable analyst, Apple may be adding wireless charging support, Bluetooth 5.0, and a revised W-series chip.

The mention of wireless charging support raises the possibility that Apple is soon launching the wireless charging case that was originally unveiled in 2017 with the AirPower mat. Kuo added that the case will have a “rigid-flex board” internal component upgrade, and that it will also have a redesigned hinge to accommodate higher thermal requirements, and to support appearance changes.

The changes to the 2020 AirPods, meanwhile, are predicted by Kuo to be much bigger. Kuo claims the 2020 AirPods will have an all-new design, though he did not provide any further details on how the redesigned wireless earbuds would look.

Kuo’s prediction for AirPods sales is very optimistic. The analyst estimated 16 million AirPods sold in 2017 and 28 million this year. However, Kuo believes that 55 million units will be sold in 2019, 80 million in 2020, and 110 million in 2021.

It remains to be seen whether the upgraded AirPods and the redesigned AirPods will allow Apple to make such drastic improvements in its annual sales for the wireless earbuds.

Kuo is a reliable analyst who regularly shares rumors and news on Apple products and services. While Kuo has earned the public’s trust, his predictions should always be taken with a grain of salt until Apple makes an official announcement.

Apple’s October 30 event this year launched a new iPad Pro, a new MacBook Air, and a new Mac Mini. There were speculations that the new AirPods would be unveiled at the event, but if Kuo’s predictions are correct, that would mean that the wireless earbuds will be making appearances in 2019 and 2020.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Does the Apple iPad (2022) have a headphone jack?
Someone using an Apple Pencil with the 10th Gen iPad.

Apple has launched a new, re-designed iPad with the faster A14 Bionic chip and four vibrant color options to choose from. The new model also features upgraded cameras, a USB-C port for charging, and a Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button.
It's the biggest overhaul we've ever seen for the baseline iPad, and it gets a lot right. But does the iPad (2022) have a headphone jack?
Does the iPad (2022) have a headphone jack?

Despite all the cool new features, the Apple iPad (2022) still doesn't feature a headphone jack. In fact, none of the recent Apple devices come with a headphone jack, so you're left to use wireless earbuds like the AirPods for enjoying your music. 
Is this surprising given Apple's other headphone jack-less gadgets? Not at all. But it is still disappointing for people who use and rely on wired audio gear.
Why recent Apple devices don't have a headphone jack
Apple got rid of the headphone jack shortly after it purchased Beats and launched its first wireless earbuds, the first-gen AirPods. While everyone predicted it was a strategy to boost earbud sales, Apple also cited space-saving reasons to dump the good old headphone slot.
"Maintaining an ancient, single-purpose, analog, big connector doesn't make sense because that space is at a premium," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said during the iPhone 7 launch where Apple first removed the headphone jack from its devices. 
The best wireless earbuds for the iPad (2022)

Read more
Rare Apple AirPower prototype shown working in new video
iPhone X charging on the Apple AirPower prototype.

Remember when Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat was announced alongside the iPhone X in 2017, only for Apple to cancel its production two years later? YouTube channels Apple Demo and Unbox Therapy have brought that memory back with a video demonstrating a rare working prototype, per a report from MacRumors.

Unboxing Apple's Forbidden Product...

Read more
Which AirPods should you buy?
apple airpods 3 new 2021 6

Apple’s latest AirPods Pro are here, and you can buy them for $249. But should you? That's a lot of money to drop on a pair of earbuds, and there are more AirPods options for you to choose from these days.

And that's before you take into consideration that we're about to go into the Black Friday sales season. All that said, tough decisions are a whole lot easier when you break them down, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Here’s how to decide which AirPods you should buy in 2022.
New but familiar
Let’s start by going over the full AirPods lineup:

Read more