December 19, 2017: Updated AirPods said to be coming in 2018

In a new note to investors, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple will release an updated version of its AirPods wireless earphones in the second half of 2018. From the note (via MacRumors:

Media reports over the past few days on brisk AirPods demand and Apple struggling to keep up with holiday season demand align with our findings and positive predictions on AirPods in several previous reports. […]

In 2018, we predict AirPods shipments will grow 100% YoY to 26-28mn units. We forecast the ASP of RFPCB for upgraded AirPods in 2H18 may increase, further benefiting business momentum of Unitech and Compeq.

Kuo offered few details on the upgraded AirPods, noting only that they would feature a smaller quartz component.

September 14, 2017: AirPods wireless charging case may launch in December, cost $69

Leaked images of AirPods 2

Apple at its September iPhone event announced an updated wireless charging case for AirPods. The case — which, save for a repositioned LED charging light, looks nearly identical to the current AirPods case — will feature wireless charging capabilities, letting you charge your AirPods and the case by placing it on a charging pad. Despite mentioning the new case, however, Apple didn't give us a clear date or price for the updated design.

MacRumors cites "information reportedly sourced from Apple Switzerland" that suggests we'll see the new wireless charging case this December and it'll reportedly run you $69. The publication points to AirPods case replacement costs as a potential indicator of the rumor's validity:

Apple's out-of-warranty fee to repair or replace the AirPods charging case is $69, so a similar price point for the wireless charging version does make some sense.

It's good to know we probably have until December to decide if we want to spend $69 to add an extra case and wireless charging capabilities to our AirPods!

September 9, 2017: AirPods getting a slightly new look

Thanks to some digging into the leaked supposed Gold Master (GM) version of iOS 11, developer Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted out some pictures of the second-generation AirPods. For the most part, they're exactly the same, but there is one notable change to the charging case: The LED status light is on the outside.

This change could make it easier for you to quickly assess whether you need to charge up your charging case before heading out, something I personally forget to do all of the time.

What do you want to see in the second-generation AirPods?

AirPods are the new hotness. Now that people — finally — have them in hand, many are loving them. Almost no one is calling them perfect, though. And what first-gen product really is? So, that leads to the big question: If Apple asked you what they should change for the next-generation AirPods, what would you tell them?

  • Ship more sooner! (Okay, yes, besides that!)
  • Black color option
  • (PRODUCT) RED color option.
  • Fashion options like Apple Watch bands.
  • USB-C instead of Lightning for charging.
  • BT tie-clip with manual controls for volume and skipping.
  • Swappable tips to fit a wider variety of ears.
  • Offline Siri, because you need to be able to command when— Zzzt ...
  • Proper Apple TV support
  • Find my AirPods feature.

Those are just a few of the suggestions I've seen so far. What are yours?

AirPods: Ultimate Guide