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Apple’s AirPods have proven to be a wild success for the company thus far and possibly even more so for the many knock-off, look-alike and premium alternative brands with their similar devices offering competitive features, pricing and even near-identical designs.
But a research note penned this morning by TF Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, suggests that even more competitive AirPods alternatives are on the way from Apple’s biggest rivals in the tech space.
Specifically, Kuo cites an unidentified supply-chain source who indicated that both Google and Amazon are currently preparing direct AirPods competitors.
“We believe that AirPods’ success has drawn Google and Amazon’s attention and these two companies will launch AirPod-alike products in 2H19,” Kuo writes in his latest research note, a copy of which was obtained on Wednesday by 9to5mac, adding that “The combined shipments of two brands will likely reach 10–20mn units in 2H19.”
Very little information is currently available about Google and Amazon’s AirPods competitors — save for Kuo’s reporting that Goertek and Unitech, two mainland China-based components and assembly foundries, will be their sole suppliers.
But What About AirPods 2?
Kuo — in a separate research note penned last week — already noted that Apple won’t be left standing in the lurch, if and when these rivals drop.
And that’s because the tech-giant is also in the finishing stages of readying its highly-anticipated next-generation AirPods refresh, which will allegedly offer a number of new features and functionalities like wireless charging, updated internals including Bluetooth 5.0, a next-gen W-series chip and an array of new biometric sensors for advanced health-tracking.
Other recent reports and patens have alluded to Apple’s next-generation AirPods — likely to be dubbed ‘AirPods 2’ — also possibly featuring inbuilt support for the company’s always-on Hey Siri feature, enabling the hands- and eyes-free voice control of a connected iPhone — in addition to water-resistance and more.
When Can I Buy AirPods 2?
While these new features and functionalities are merely hearsay from the rumor mill, Apple’s ‘AirPods 2’ refresh is currently slated to touchdown within the first-half of 2019, Kuo suggests. And possibly even alongside the long-overdue AirPower wireless charging mat and updated AirPods wireless charging case.
Ultimately, Kuo notes that even despite Google and Amazon’s insurgent bids to penetrate the already-saturated wireless earbuds market, his previous forecast of Apple’s outlook remains unchanged: AirPods shipments will increase not only by 2 million units during the remainder of December 2018, but to between 50-55 million units in 2019 and possibly past 100 million by 2021.