Apple is pushing forward with its audio-device strategy. After the major, partly cultural, success of AirPods, Apple is set to introduce new audio hardware in 2019, reports Bloomberg.
While the company is already expected to launch a refreshed AirPods later this year with a new chip and support for hands-free Siri activation, the company is slated to launch next-gen AirPods in 2019. The new AirPods will reportedly feature noise-cancellation, water resistance to protect against rain, and increased range support for iPhones and iPads. The new product could also expand Apple’s health-related hardware with new biometric sensors like a heart-rate monitor integrated into the future AirPods, but that still remains uncertain. Either way, the new AirPods are going to cost more than the current $159 AirPods, but that’s not a surprise.
Apple is also reportedly working on new, studio-quality over-the-ear headphones. The company’s upcoming over-the-ear headphones, slated for a 2019 release, will directly compete with its own Beats line. The device was originally planned for a late 2018 release, but later got delayed because of development challenges. Cupertino is also working on a new version of its HomePod for early next year, which may come as a surprise to some because of the disappointing sales numbers, but Apple’s commitment towards the development of a new range of products (e.g. Apple Watch) continues to be consistent.
Apple’s audio-device push is certainly interesting, mainly because of the branding. Apple’s Beats brand is already very popular in the audio industry, but it seems like Apple is more interested in pushing its own brand forward. With the upcoming over-the-ear headphones competing directly with Beats’ own products, the future of Beats’ Studio line of products is uncertain.