Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is planning to invest in higher-end AirPods and studio-quality over-ear headphones, which are expected to release as early as next year. The Cupertino, California-based company, is working on the new AirPods looking to improve the noise-cancellation, water resistance against rain and perspiration, and the range that the AirPods could work away from a device, according to the people familiar with the matter.
The AirPods will probably cost more than the existing $159 pair and could push Apple to segment the product line like it has with iPhones. Apple is also in the works for a wireless charging case compatible with the upcoming AirPower charger, a heart-rate monitor, and a new chip for hands-free Siri activation, according to a report from Bloomberg News.
Apple plans to release over-ear headphones to compete with Bose Corp. and Sennheiser. With the Apple branding, it will release a higher-end alternative to the Beats line. They originally wanted to introduce the headphones by the end of 2018 but are aiming for a launch early next year when faced with developmental challenges.
Noise-cancellation component developer Cirrus Logic Inc.’s shares rose up to 10% after Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland wrote about the company’s collaboration with Apple on the new AirPods. Accessories have become a valuable revenue source for Apple’s Other Products unit, generating $12.9 billion in sales for the 2017 fiscal year.