The new model could feature a smaller quartz component from supplier TXC, however, externally Kuo doesn't expect the new model to look much different than the original.
The analyst predicts that the upgraded AirPods will come with hardware improvements.
The AirPods appear to have sold out on the official Apple Store, with customers told they will have to wait until January 2 to receive a pair. Until recently, Inventec was the sole manufacturer for AirPods. The mat is also anticipated to launch at some point in 2018.
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Apple has sold out for AirPods, its wireless headphones created to work with iPhones and iPads, with a week left until Christmas. Unfortunately for those on the hunt, the AirPods now read "deliveries from January 3" on the Apple Store. Kuo continues to estimate that Apple will double shipments of its AirPods in 2018 reaching sales of 26-28 million units, up from 13-14 million in 2017. The best promise to date is a release "early next year".
A worldwide shortage of AirPods means many Apple fans will be stuck without earphones this Christmas.
Apple also suffered supply issues past year after the AirPods sold out before Christmas. With Apple now seeing great success with the recent launch of their new generation of phones - particularly the iPhone X - it will be interesting to see how the launch of a new product like the AirPods 2 will continue to drive sales.