Spring is almost in the air, and we’re about to expect some more balmy Apple products. We should expect wireless charging, new Hey Siri prompts (leaked in iOS 12.2 beta) and health monitoring features. But in a report from Ming-Chi Kuo, he said that some features are pushed to the next year. Let’s dig a little deeper into details, then compare and contrast our next two AirPods, from this year to the next.

Sweat/water resistance and major remodel isn’t a big deal in 2019.

First of all, Kuo mentioned in a report that the 2020 AirPods 3 is seen to have such traits of a major revamp, which includes very slight resistance to liquids such as sweat. Kuo states, “We expect sales on the AirPods to average on 70-80 million units sold in 2020, in contrast to 50-55 million units of this year (2019)….. We expect an entirely new design in the first quarter of 2020, in response to the sales demand…. This will enact the user experience to be more streamlined, and to create vast integration with the iOS devices and the Macs.”
This is significant because takes to a long time for a major redesign, and to add bigger features to a small product like AirPods. If the sales hitch up more steadily than the previous 2-3 years, then there’s a high probability that a big redesign like this, will come to the AirPods. But less likely for 2019.

We’ll still get wireless charging and Hey Siri this year.

Secondly, in light of the continuation of Kuo’s report, he has more details to add onto the second generation of AirPods. He said we’ll get wireless charging on AirPods, Hey Siri recognition, better range, and upgraded Apple W chip. Kuo said, “The addition of wireless charging to our AirPods in quarter one of 2019 can concede the improvements in the shipments of AirPods. Only less than 5% of iPhone users around the world have AirPods, meaning that the significant increase by 110 million units in 2021 can take a long time…..” This implies that the AirPods will only get a mere change in this year, due to the ratio of AirPod sales to iPhone users turning out to be a small outcome. You can see that in the last paragraph outlining the 2020 AirPods, there would be a 50-55 million unit range for this year, and for the next year will be 70-80 million units. The median between these years will be 65 million units of AirPods sold.

Hidden AirPods health and fitness features

Lastly, 9to5Mac has evidence that AirPods can implement some health monitoring in a tiny package. “The AirPods can only fit a battery and some microphones and wires on its little stick below the AirPod’s body. An optical heart rate sensor isn’t possible to fit in an AirPod as it’s too big to fit in a tiny bud. But a microscopic size accelerometer can track body movements in the stems of AirPods….” For this, I can infer that the AirPods will only be possible to have fitness tracking due to a small infrastructure, and a heart rate sensor is too big to squeeze into the stem. Who would make it a piece of cake to put a big sensor to an AirPod?
In conclusion, the 2019 AirPods will get the small improvements for an accelerometer, wireless charging, and better Bluetooth, while the 2020 gets water resistance to a major makeover. Both AirPods still don the new W chips and Kuo said that the AirPods still remain the most wonderful product Apple has ever made.