Apple is reportedly developing premium over-ear headphones that could ship near the end of the year, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The company is apparently interested in taking Beats’ success in the consumer audio space and replicating that for its own brand. Apple hasn’t focused too much on itself, but the AirPods in 2016 and the HomePod in 2018 prove there’s interest to do more.
Here’s part of the report, as shared by MacRumors:
“Apple to have own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones with all-new design; to be as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality; shipments to begin in 4Q18F at earliest; Primax & SZS will be the key suppliers & will benefit from high ASPs.”
It goes on to say that Apple is interested in creating a fuller acoustic accessory line. The only product there today is the AirPods, which are due for an upgrade in 2018.
Kuo did comment on the upcoming AirPods model. While they won’t look drastically different from what’s currently available, the new model will include an improved wireless charging case and W1 chip. Then, in 2019, Apple should add water resistance to the wireless earbuds.
If you’re a Beats fan, there’s probably little reason to worry. The brand still has a ton of strength in the industry and allows for Apple test new ideas before bringing them over to its own lineup. Celebrities from various fields continue choosing Beats’ headphones and earbuds above other brands’, a clear sign that it remains a status symbol for consumers.
The over-ear headphones are planned for late 2018, likely meaning they’ll debut alongside the next iPhone models.