Apple has been rumored to have plans to refresh the AirPods for some time, with a wireless charging-capable AirPod charging case expected ever since Apple announced the ill-fated AirPower charger back in 2017.

Neither of those products have shipped yet, with both believed to be intertwined. Now analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that we will finally get new AirPods in Q1 of 2019, with that wireless charging case included.

Kuo is also forecasting a huge growth in AirPod sales, with the earphones already Apple’s most popular accessory to the point that it’s believed that people are more likely to buy AirPods than upgrade their iPhone. That lead Kuo to claim that Apple will see shipments increase from 16 million in 2017 to over 100 million by the time we reach 2021.

That will apparently be helped by a refresh early next year that will bring with it the aforementioned wireless charging case as well as improvements to the earphones themselves, including updated Bluetooth specification. The wireless charging case is also expected to be offered as an aftermarket purchase for those who already own AirPods, and a whole new set of AirPods is expected to arrive in 2020.

It’s not clear what that bigger refresh will entail, but a “Hey Siri” feature that would allow Siri to be activated without tapping an AirPod first, is something that has been expected for a while now. Apple even showed AirPods doing exactly that when it announced the iPhone XS and iPhone XR earlier this year.

We already know that AirPods are hugely popular among iPhone owners, and that’s likely to be even more clear once wireless charging and improved Siri support arrives in due course.

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