AirPower wireless charging, new AirPods will ship in first half of 2019
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Apple will finally get around to releasing its AirPower wireless charging mat and a future generation of AirPods in the first half of 2019, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
"The new AirPods support wireless charging and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity, and AirPower will start shipping in 1H19," the analyst wrote in a research note to clients on Sunday.
The same memo also pointed to a new high-resolution Apple display, a 16- to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro, and a handful of new iPads.
Previous rumors have suggested that Apple will ship updated AirPods and a wireless charging case this year, the former possibly including health monitoring features. Timing is in dispute, and Kuo makes no mention of fitness tracking capabilities in today's note. He does however claim that wireless charging is coming as a near-term upgrade.
AirPower was initially previewed in 2017 ahead of a scheduled 2018 release. The accessory was quietly and indefinitely delayed as rumors claimed Apple engineers were battling heat and interference issues. Despite presumptions that AirPower would ultimately turn into vaporware, reports in February pointed to parts shipments and mass manufacturing, suggesting the project was back on track.
A next-generation AirPods model has been the topic of wide speculation over the past month. Recent reports claimed the update to Apple's wildly popular wireless earbuds will share a design with the original, but feature a textured surface for improved grip and potentially be offered in a new black color option.
Conflicting rumors point to different release dates. The memo from Kuo says first half of 2019. Other rumors suggest an imminent launch, or one in the fall.