A pair of wireless headphones made by Apple subsidiary Beats.
Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • Apple may be planning to launch a pair of wireless over-ear headphones this year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • The report comes after Kuo and Bloomberg have published reports in the past indicating that a premium pair of headphones are in Apple's pipeline.
  • The headphones would be Bluetooth-enabled and would be made to compete with offerings from Bose and Sennheiser, said the reports.
  • It's one of several new gadgets Apple is reportedly planning to release in the first half of 2020, along with a new 4.7-inch cheaper iPhone and a Tile-like accessory.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Apple may be best known for its popular AirPods when it comes to audio accessories, but the company could be preparing to launch a pair of over-ear headphones this year too.

That's according to a new note from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities that was circulated on blogs such as 9to5Mac and MacRumors on Wednesday.

Kuo didn't provide details about the headphones, other than saying they would be Bluetooth-enabled and could launch in the first half of 2020.

But it's far from being the first time we've heard that Apple could be developing a new pair of headphones. Kuo also reported similar findings back in 2018, saying that the headphones would be designed to be as convenient as Apple's AirPods but with better sound quality.

However, Kuo did say back then that the new headphones could debut as early as the fourth quarter of 2018, although Apple has yet to announce them. Bloomberg, which has also reported on Apple's supposed plans to launch a pair of high-end over-ear headphones, said Apple faced development challenges with the product that resulted in a delay. That report also said the headphones would be designed to compete with offerings from Bose and Sennheiser, and would fall under Apple's brand rather than its Beats subsidiary.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Such an addition would further flesh out Apple's audio product lineup, joining its HomePod smart speaker and popular AirPods wireless earbuds. Apple's wearables, home, and accessories division, the business unit that encompasses its audio products, has been growing rapidly and is now a $10 billion business, as Apple revealed in its fiscal first-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Launching a pair of over-ear headphones would fill a gap in Apple's existing audio lineup, potentially enabling it to expand its wearables business and target new customers.

Other than a pair of over-ear headphones, Kuo predicts that Apple is planning to release a cheaper 4.7-inch iPhone, a refreshed iPad Pro, and a Tile-like accessory among other products.

Kuo is known for his often-reliable predictions about upcoming Apple products. For example, he recently predicted that Apple would release a 16-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor-switch mechanism keyboard and a pair of redesigned AirPods before Apple announced its large-screened laptop and AirPods Pro in late 2019.

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