Apple’s wireless earphones, the hugely popular AirPods, are said to have an update on the way according to a new report by Bloomberg.

As the story goes, an update as soon as this year will see an update with improved wireless chips involved that will also allow for the invocation of voice commands via the now familiar “Hey Siri” call.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, the newly updated AirPods are said to be called B288 internally. Expanding on this information, we are told:

Like with its mobile devices — the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch — Apple intends to frequently update the AirPods with new hardware features. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on a new version for release as soon as this year with an upgraded wireless chip, the people said. A subsequent model for as early as next year is planned to be water resistant, they added, asking not to be identified discussing private product plans.

The inclusion of “Hey Siri” capabilities would remove the need to physically interface with the AirPods, giving them a similar capability profile to the recently released HomePod.

Beyond this update, Apple also has updates planned beyond 2018, with one also said to already be in the pipeline for 2019, allowing Apple to offer a 12 month refresh cadence similar to the iPhone lineup.

As far as that 2019 update is concerned, the main feature is said to be water resistance, making AirPods able to “survive splashes of water and rain,” something that would make the earphones more suitable to wear during exercise.

With KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stating that he believes Apple shipped between 13 and 14 millions AirPods last year and expecting a sell through of anywhere up to 28 million year-over-year, an annual refresh will most certainly aid Apple’s ability to sell AirPods to people who already own existing versions of the earphones.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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