AirPods 2: How Apple Will Fend Off New Competition From Google and Amazon?

Apple's going to need to ward off rivals.

There’s no shortage of AirPods competitors on the consumer tech market. But a trusted analyst believes Apple’s wireless buds might soon face some stiff competition from other Silicon Valley heavyweights. Amazon and Google are likely developing their own Bluetooth earbuds, but Apple has a plan to have its AirPods stand up against any potential rivals.

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the AirPods’ success has turned its competitors’ heads. In a note to investors obtained by AppleInsider, he forecasts that Amazon and Google will drop their own wireless earbuds in the second half of 2019. Kuo goes on to state that Apple will include biometric sensors to the upcoming AirPods 2 as a way to differentiate its buds. Hints of health-tracking-enabled AirPods were spotted in an Apple patent filing earlier this year, so Kuo’s statements further bolster that evidence.

Read More: Will Apple’s New AirPods Resolve Their Biggest Problem?

Could it be time for health-tracking headphones? Kuo notes that the ear is a “perfect sensing area for detecting various health data.” There are other reasons why the integration makes sense — not everyone wants to wear a watch while they work out, for example. But there’s also reason to wonder whether these upgrades could be too-little-too-late.

This AirPods document states the earbuds are a "Class 10" which means a wellness instrument.

Patently Apple

By some estimates, AirPods 2 could hit the market as many as six months after Amazon and Google’s competition products. In a previous letter, Kuo stated that redesigned AirPods won’t be launched until 2020. He said the company has plans to release a wireless charging case for the buds early in 2019 instead.

Consumers that wait that long are supposed to be rewarded by tech that’s rumored to have been completely reimagined. We’ve heard chatter that they’ll be over-the-ear with noise-canceling capabilities, come with improved Siri integration, and water resistance. All of these additions will like come with a price increase, too.

While 2019 won’t be entirely without an upgrades to Apple’s wireless listening experience, it seems likely that these upgrades will be pretty incremental. Luckily for consumers, there will be no shortage of potential replacements for their 2016 earbuds if Apple decides to wait too long to get this rumored re-imagining to the market.

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