Something to look forward to: According to leaked financial information from the AirPods manufacturing plant, the first batch has been shipped and the second much larger batch will begin production shortly. The AirPods themselves will be black, improve audio quality, and introduce heart rate sensing for an additional $40 over the current generation.
Inventec, the Chinese company that manufactures AirPods, recently released its monthly financial statement. Other than confirming the company will build a new manufacturing plant in Nanchang to facilitate “American customers,” the public version of the report doesn’t reveal specifics. However, Chinese website UDN was able to speak an investor with access to the private statement.
Inventec is reportedly expecting large profits to be made from the next AirPods, which will debut along with the AirPower charging mat “very soon” in Spring. They’ll cost $199 (the originals cost $159), come in black and white options and be coated in a new grippier material. The devices will be manufactured at the same rate as the original AirPods.
While Inventec specializes in audio and is not working on AirPower, the business plan is for them to launch together. AirPower will live up to all its promises but be thicker than original concepts that Apple showed off. According to a separate source claiming to speak with an Apple employee, advertisements for both devices are being filmed currently.
In terms of upgrades over the current generation, previous reports have suggested that the new AirPods will feature improved bass response, health sensors that include heart rate detection, and better water resistance. They’ll also use Bluetooth 5.0, which can improve audio quality while consuming less power. That will make the battery life slightly better compared to the originals, despite including batteries of the same capacity. ‘Hey Siri’ compatibility will also be a feature.
For a company that seemed to give up on music hardware and let the iPod die, Apple has created one of the most successful and novel audio products of the last few years. AirPods 2 will no doubt be a big hit.