Ming-Chi Kuo, a Leading Apple Analyst, Is Predicting Two New AirPod Models in 2019 and 2020
Ming-Chi Kuo, a historically accurate Apple analyst, made headlines this week with his prediction that Apple will release two new AirPod models between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. Kuo suggests that one model will look similar to the current model, and would also be priced in the same range. The other model is expected to have a new aesthetic design and a higher price point.
Most Accurate Apple Analyst in the World
Kuo is an analyst with KGI Securities, a Taiwanese business group. His correct predictions began in 2011 with the delayed white iPhone 4 release in April, and have continued to include claims about the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display and Touch ID, 2013 iPhone 5s details, iPhone SE details, in addition to details about the Apple Watch Series 2 released last year. 9to5Mac notes that he has been called “The Most Accurate Apple Analyst in the World” and “The Analyst Who Reveals all of Apple’s Secrets.”
These claims about the two new AirPod models are not very detailed, but outlets like Engadget are pointing out past rumors that have indicated AirPods may include noise cancellation, longer range, and water resistance. Although the Powerbeats Pro features some noise cancellation and water resistance, Apple may want its own AirPods to include those as well.
Why It Makes Sense
AirPods are very popular and dominating the hearables category of smart, wireless earbuds. Apple AirPods controlled 24% of all wireless earbuds installed base in September 2018 as reported in the Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report. That was double the next closest competitor, Bose, at just 12%. AirPod market share of the true hearables space of smart earbuds was far higher, likely over 80%. With the hearbles market growing overall, Apple will want to ensure that it stays dominant in the market, too. Releasing more models would allow for that.
With the launch of the new version of the AirPods in March of this year, Apple did not deliver on rumors about biometric sensors, a heart-rate monitor, improved water resistance, and a version in black. The popularity of AirPods will allow Apple to experiment a bit with the release of new models. We could end up seeing a classic version of the AirPods, and then newer models with different, more experimental features, rollout after.