Next-Gen AirPods to Spark Intense Competition in Smart Earbuds Market Next Year

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Continuing improvements to Apple's popular AirPods wireless earphones will trigger an intense round of ear-device innovation and competition in 2019 as tech companies look to other avenues for growth amid declining smartphone sales, according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

    In a research note published today and obtained by MacRumors, Kuo predicted that AirPods, which are the most successful current Apple product, will rapidly grow in popularity next year when upgraded models appear, with many brands to follow Apple's steps with their own competing products. Kuo also laid out how he expects the in-ear devices to evolve over the coming years in the context of Apple's ecosystem.

    For an idea of the potential health integrations Apple has in mind for future AirPods, a new patent awarded to Apple on Tuesday (spotted by 9to5Mac) shows AirPod-like devices performing heart rate monitoring and taking body temperature measurements.

    With smartphone shipments slowing, more brand vendors are said to be paying attention to wireless earbud sales as a way to generate growth in the near-term, with a view to long-term strategic improvements in the ear-device space, according to Kuo.

    Google and Amazon are expected to become Apple's main competitors in the emerging market, due to the former's Android influence and the latter's mature Alexa voice assistant. AirPod-like products from both companies are expected to be launched in the second half of next year.
    Earlier this week, Kuo said he expected Apple's AirPods to see "dramatic growth" over the next two years, with new AirPods with a wireless charging case to debut in the first quarter of 2019, and an "all-new design model" following in the first quarter of 2020.

    Kuo also said that fewer than 5 percent of iPhone users currently own AirPods, and with over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide, there are "great potential growth opportunities" for the accessory. Almost a year ago, Kuo predicted Apple would launch upgraded AirPods in the second half of 2018, but Apple's difficulties in bringing its AirPower charging mat to market likely impacted those plans.

    Just ahead of Apple's October media event, Kuo said he was uncertain about the timing for an AirPods update, suggesting the new models could come late in the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of 2019.

    Article Link: Next-Gen AirPods to Spark Intense Competition in Smart Earbuds Market Next Year
  2. deckard666 macrumors 6502


    Jan 16, 2007
    Again brand awareness is everything - I see an android watch or in-ear headphones and have no idea which brand they belong to whereas both the airpods and apple watch are instantly recognisable. Well done A :)
  3. YaBe macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2017
    Unless they find a way to slow down my music, I won't be updating, they work great now. :D
  4. spazzcat macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2007
    And you see them everywhere, I just traveled abroad and was surprised just how many I saw. I got a pair in October and I like them a lot.
  5. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    Smart earbud market? Now you're just making things up.
  6. AppleHeadPhx, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    AppleHeadPhx macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2018
    If they would price them at $99.00 they would fly off the shelves.

    I saw that they’re selling for $239.00 on! Who would pay that much for them???

    You can get them for $139.00 at Costco.
  7. daveheinzel macrumors newbie


    Jun 29, 2007
    Of all the Apple products I’ve owned over the past few decades, AirPods might be my favorite. I love them so much.
  8. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice
    Starting to see them everywhere recently in Japan. Only the past 2 months though. Before that it was like finding hens' teeth. They are a great product and they totally changed my experience with the iPhone as I consume content on it due to work and travel. It used to drive me crazy getting constantly caught up with those cables.
  9. Nicksd84 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
  10. pete2106 Suspended


    Dec 7, 2012
    Same, they really are under-appreciated. They are the best product Apple has released in recent years and they don't get the appreciation they deserve.
  11. BruiserBear macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    I continue to be amazed at how well these sell given how ridiculous they look on people.
  12. jona2125 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2010
    You would think it would be that easy but I have many coworkers who adopted knockoff AirPods and without getting up close and personal you would just assume they were Apple official ones. Doesn't hurt anything as it amplifies the outreach for Apple as people would assume it's AirPods and could influence a potential sale.
  13. tromboneaholic Suspended


    Jun 9, 2004
    Clearwater, FL
    They look the same as the regular EarPods without wires, and these days people with wires are starting to look a bit silly....
  14. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    AirPods? Competition?

    Thanks. I needed that laugh.
  15. unibility macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2012
    A34859C1-7193-4321-A112-733457612118.jpeg 7772A8E5-DB02-4BE0-B44B-DFB2632C87D5.jpeg 219D83ED-4957-4C9F-8ED1-23263BCD159E.jpeg Anyone have both the AirPods and Bose SoundSport Free? I use the later and I really like them despite its size.
  16. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    For me, removing that headphone jack was one of the best things Apple did. I just can't imagine going back to wired music listening.... never again!
  17. bluush macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    AirPods refuse to stay in my ears, have mediocre sound and look ridiculous. Apple has a long way to go in order to improve these things. As of now, they simply see them as a way to generate more revenue because their lack of creativity with the iPhone is hurting them.
  18. esk macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2016
    what about people who are concerned with having bluetooth technology right next to your head on both sides.
  19. tromboneaholic Suspended


    Jun 9, 2004
    Clearwater, FL
    I imagine they won't buy Amazon's or Google's headphones either.
  20. jona2125 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2010
    I have both AirPods and the Free's, the Bose are definitely nicer/more comfortable and I like them but I just got the Sennheiser Momentum and they are fantastic so far.
  21. groadyho Suspended


    Apr 26, 2018
    I don't know anyone who looks or even cares what anyone else wears or uses.
    It's a weird world out there.
  22. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Rumor has it that it’ll be available in black.
  23. groadyho Suspended


    Apr 26, 2018
    The Senns are awesome. I use them riding my motorcycle
  24. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2003
    tin foil hat. keeps alien spies away too.
  25. Glideslope macrumors 603


    Dec 7, 2007
    A quiet place in NY.
    I'd be more concerned with the IR from the Flood Illuminator on Face ID TBO. :apple:

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