Why it matters: Mobile accessories are an important part of the overall consumer electronics ecosystem and a solid source of revenue, especially for Apple as iPhone unit growth slows. Last year "Other Products" which include AirPods, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Beats accounted for a staggering $12 billion sales for the Cupertino-based company.
Apple is reportedly working on a trio of improved audio products that’ll take existing offerings to the next level.
Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that Apple is actively developing new AirPods featuring noise-cancellation and water resistance. You won’t be able to swim with the earbuds; instead, they’re meant to protect against sweat and rain.
The new and improved AirPods will likely be a bit more expensive than existing models, allowing Apple to segment the product line in the same way it does the iPhone. A wireless charging case for Apple’s in-ear audio solution is also in the pipeline and will be compatible with the upcoming AirPower wireless charging mat.
Elsewhere, Apple is said to be working on new over-ear headphones that’ll compete with offerings from Sennheiser and Bose. They’ll utilize Apple branding and be positioned as a higher-end alternative to the company’s Beats line.
Apple reportedly wanted to launch the headphones by the end of 2018 but development challenges have pushed the product back to early 2019.
A new version of the HomePod speaker is also under development, sources say. Not much is known about this product aside from the possibility that Apple will shift development from Inventec to Foxconn.