Upgraded AirPods Will Inspire Companies Like Google and Amazon to Make Their Own Custom Wireless Earphones, Says Analyst
Now that the sales of iPhones have reached the saturation point according to recent reports, Apple will increase its focus on other products to propel revenue growth. According to the famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Cupertino giant’s AirPods cannot just help but rake in more revenue. At the same time, they also help prevent people from leaving the iOS ecosystem thanks to the seamless connection they make courtesy of the custom-made W1 chip. More importantly, the AirPods can inspire other companies to come out with similar products.
The Untapped Wireless Earbuds Markets Has a Huge Growth Potential, With AirPods Reportedly Leading the Charge
Right now, AirPods are selling like hotcakes and their popularity is bound to increase when the new models arrive. Kuo believes that AirPods can become an indispensable accessory for summoning digital assistants and AI services. Another application of the earbuds highlighted by the analyst is their capability of sensing health data in the near future.
In fact, Apple might even integrate them with the Apple Watch, which has already become more than just a regular smartwatch, thanks to the EKG feature. Apple could be pursuing this idea, as a recently unearthed patent shows a device, which bears resemblance to the AirPods, performing tasks such as heart rate monitoring.
Kuo also expects AirPods to witness phenomenal growth over the next two years. Apple is expected to release new AirPods with a wireless charging case in the first quarter of 2019 and a significantly revamped model is expected in the first quarter of 2020. Kuo pointed out that out of over 1 billion iPhone users all over the world, only 5 percent own the AirPods, which means there is a huge potential for growth.
Since this emerging market of wireless earbuds has considerable potential, other companies such as Google and Amazon are also expected to tap into it. Both the companies are already hailed for their digital assistants and we may see them launching a product that competes directly with AirPods during the second half of 2019.
“We believe that AirPods’ success has drawn Google and Amazon’s attention and these two companies will launch AirPod-alike products in 2H19. The combined shipments of two brands will likely reach 10–20mn units in 2H19. Goertek (assembly) and Unitech (Rigid-flex PCB) are sole suppliers for Google and Amazon. We think that Google and Amazon are Apple’s main competitors because Google is the most influential brand in the Android ecosystem and Amazon has the best voice assistant service.”