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Next year’s iPhone X successor might launch alongside upgraded AirPods

Published Dec 19th, 2017 9:48AM EST
AirPods 2018 Upgrade
Image: Apple

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If you’re looking for AirPods this Christmas but haven’t yet bought a pair, you might be out of luck, as Apple is sold out of all available stock. That’s hardly a surprise considering the AirPods are probably among the best wireless headphones you can buy right now, and one of Apple’s best products in recent years.

A new report from a well-known Apple insider said that Apple is already working on an upgraded AirPods model that should be unveiled in the second half of 2018.

The news comes from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, who said in a note seen by 9to5Mac that the new AirPods model will use a smaller quartz component.

We already know that an upgrade is in the works for the current AirPods. Apple announced in September that it’ll sell an AirPower wireless charging accessory next year that will be able to power the iPhone X or iPhone 8, the Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time. For that to happen, the AirPods will need a case that can be recharged wirelessly. But Kuo’s update indicates that the AirPods themselves may receive an upgrade next year as well.

Other details about this upgrade aren’t available, but Kuo’s revelation suggests that Apple might sell the new AirPods model alongside next year’s iPhone X successor.

Kuo says that the battery rigid-flex PCB is the main bottleneck in the AirPods supply chain, which explains why the headphones have been so difficult to find for so long, and why they’re not available in stores for Christmas. Kuo believes Apple will sell more than 26 million AirPods next year alone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.