Another upgrade due before the end of 2020 will feature an unspecified "all-new design", according to the report. Kuo also stated that all-new designed AirPods would launch in early 2020. However, an analyst strongly believes that Apple will release the AirPods 2 sometime during the first quarter of 2019.
Apple site 9To5Mac reports that Kuo says the new AirPods case "will have a 'rigid-flex board" internal component upgrade, which will be more expensive to manufacture'.
Kuo said that there will be improvements to the actual AirPods Bluetooth, along with the case upgrades, in the 2019 update. It was also previously rumored that future AirPods would have water resistance and noise cancellation, as pointed out by The Verge. Kuo claims that the second generation will get a completely new design and the latest version of the Bluetooth standard 5.0.
Kuo has further stated that the AirPods have managed to become the most popular product from the company and it will likely see a major boost in sales by 2021 and Apple is expected to sell more 100 million units.
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However, it is unclear at this point if there is going to be an update only for the charging case that is compatible with the current-gen AirPods, or if there will be entirely new earbuds to look forward to. But there's no mention of an actual wireless charging pad to, ya know, charge your AirPods.
He has also provided growth estimates for Apple's wireless earphones. Furthermore, Kuo is placing high expectations on the AirPods, as he predicts 55 million units to be sold in 2019 which is nearly twice the amount he predicted for this year.
It will also include an improved heat-resistant hinge on the case, which tells us that the wireless case would be an add-on accessory - like it has always been rumored.