Apple might finally be releasing an upgraded version of its AirPods in the first quarter of 2019, and and might redesign the device for 2020. 9to5Mac cites a new report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says that demand for the devices will grow dramatically in the coming years.
There were rumors all summer that upgraded AirPods would debut during this fall’s product launches, but they never appeared on stage. If Kuo’s predictions are correct, the new models will have “wireless charging support,” although it’s not clear if that means an upgraded case or the earpieces themselves. There are some other changes that line up with prior rumors as well — Kuo says that the next model will come with upgraded Bluetooth specs, an upgraded hinge on the case, and that some internal components will be a bit more expensive. There have also been rumors that 2019 will also bring a new set of high-end AirPods that will be water resistant and will come with noise cancelation.
Beyond the potential 2019 upgrade, Kuo notes that there will be an “all new design” for the 2020 AirPods, but doesn’t go into details, and he doesn’t mention anything about the long-delayed AirPower mat. Kuo reportedly says that AirPods are Apple’s most popular accessory ever, and predicts that the company will go from selling 16 million in 2017 to more than 100 million by 2021.