Todd Haselton, CNBC:
[Ming-Chi Kuo], who has a track record of accurately predicting Apple product launches, said AirPods are Apple’s most popular accessory ever.
In the note, Kuo said Apple AirPods have the fastest growth momentum of any Apple product. Kuo estimates Apple will ship 26 million to 28 million AirPod units this year, up from 14 million to 16 million in 2017. Kuo also expects Apple to release a new version of AirPods next year with wireless charging that will help propel shipments to 50 million to 55 million units next year, 70 million to 80 million units in 2020 and 100 million to 110 million units in 2021.
On a purely anecdotal basis, this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I’ve seen AirPods in increasing ears, especially in the past year. I’ve been in New York for much of the past week and it seems like a third of each subway car at rush hour is wearing their AirPods.
Oddly, even though Kuo’s sources indicate an early 2019 AirPods update — meaning April or before, if Kuo is using Apple’s definition of “early” — he does not mention the AirPower. Those products seemed to go hand-in-glove, and releasing the case without the charging mat would not be a good sign for the announced AirPower product.
By the way, I’m thrilled that the AirPods seem like such a fantastic product. Would it be too much to ask for a version that fits my ears, too?
Update: Victoria Song of Gizmodo points to a patent filing that suggests my wishes may eventually come true:
The patent drawings showcase a design that can be “symmetric so the earbud can be worn interchangeably in either a left or right ear.” The biometric sensors would then be used to tell which earbud was in what ear and automatically adjust sound accordingly. There’s also mention of using foam to provide “constant force independent of ear size”—a departure from the all-plastic design of current AirPods. […]