Amid reports that AirPods are in limited supply for a second Christmas shopping season in a row, KGI Securities’ well-connected industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says he believes Apple will release an updated version of the popular wireless EarPods in the second half of 2018.

KGI's Kuo: Apple to Debut 'Upgraded' AirPods in Second Half 2018

9to5Mac:

The analyst does not go into much detail about what exactly will change in the next-generation model, however he notes that they will adopt a smaller quartz component.

Apple has already announced a new AirPower inductive charging case for next year. It seems that Apple may also be lining up a small update to the earbuds, if KGI’s reporting proves accurate. 

Kuo also mentions the limited supply of the current model AirPods during the holiday shopping season. He says the battery rigid-flex PCB is the main bottleneck in the supply chain. The Apple Online Store is showing early January as the estimated delivery timeframe.  Best Buy shows “Getting more soon,” with January 4 as a shipping estimate for the popular accessory.

Kuo doubled-down on previous statements that Apple will double AirPods shipments next year to more than 26 million units. The analyst believes Q1 AirPods sales could avoid the usual post-holiday sales fall. In a December 4 report, Kuo called AirPods “Apple’s most important accessory product”.