Though Apple’s AirPods were initially mocked due to a somewhat funky design, demand for the company’s wireless earbuds has continued to grow impressively with each passing month. And while Apple won’t divulge specific sales figures, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple may sell upwards of 28 million units by the time 2018 draws to a close.
Originally released in late 2016, Apple’s AirPods are nearly two years old at this point. Consequently, we’ve seen quite a few rumors surrounding a next-gen version of the wireless earbuds over the past few months. Though early rumors claimed that we’d see AirPods 2 hit store shelves sometime this year, a new investor note from Kuo relays that Apple will release a new iteration of AirPods sometime in early 2019.
Originally brought to light by MacRumors, the next-gen version of AirPods is said to include support for wireless charging and enhanced Bluetooth functionality. Incidentally, we’ve also seen reports that the next-gen version of AirPods will include noise cancellation features, improved water resistance, and hands-free support for “Hey Siri.”
Beyond 2019, Kuo believes that Apple in 2020 will release an AirPods update with a brand new design, though details regarding what type of design we can expect remain scare at this point.
With demand for Apple’s AirPods showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, Kuo believes that Apple in 2019 may sell upwards of 55 million units and as many as 110 million units in 2021 on account of the aforementioned brand new design. As a point of reference, it’s believed that Apple sold approximately 13-14 million AirPods in 2017.
In short, AirPods appear to be yet another Apple product that was mocked early on before going on to becoming a legitimate success.