Apple said to go all-in on audio hardware

Delia Walker
June 28, 2018

The new Apple AirPods are likely to come with additional features, including active noise-cancellation and some form of water resistance, that will make the product a bit more premium and useful to consumers.

Additionally, the new 2019 AirPods could feature noise cancellation, as well as some type of biometric sensors.

The Other Products division, which develops devices such AirPods, complementing the ecosystem of Apple, brought the company in 2017 of $12.9 billion in revenue and compensated for the slowdown in the sector iPhone, reminds Bloomberg. The last has been rumored before, so the new Bloomberg report adds a dash of authenticity to the speculation.

The over-ear headphones are expected to compete with models from Bose and Sennheiser. Apple also wants to ensure that these new AirPods can work even when relatively far away from their companion smartphone or tablet.

The report adds that Apple's long-awaited wireless charging case for the AirPods will likely debut later this year, potentially alongside the AirPower charging mat. It will also release an updated HomePod and new over-the-ear headphones. Finally, Apple is said to be working on a new version of the HomePod for release as early as next year.

When Apple launched AirPods in 2016, the earbuds went on sale with limited supply following a delay. The music-focused device was praised by many reviewers for its sound quality, but its market performance is apparently disappointing.

Meanwhile, both Bloomberg and longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously tipped Apple to release over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones but noted that the company had dealt with production issues putting them together. It was originally built with Inventec, but Apple has since expanded production to Foxconn. They are meant to be higher end than Beats headphones and are meant to compete with the high-end models of headphones which ship from firms like Bose Corp and Sennheiser. While there was a possibility that those headphones could launch in 2018, "development challenges" have pushed them into 2019.

Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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