Analyst Reckons Amazon and Google Will Release Wireless Earbuds to Take on Apple's AirPods

By Tom Pritchard on at

Wireless earbuds are a big deal these days, especially since Apple released the AirPods. Because as well all know a technological innovation doesn't count until Apple can find a way to package it up for their legions of followers with their own unique brand of marketing. Well now one analyst reckons both Google and Amazon will launch their own wireless earbuds, with the intention of directly competing with Apple's Beats-powered empire.

This reckon comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, who is probably the world's most famous tech analyst at this point. His company TF International just sent a new note to investors, and inside was the following:

"We believe that AirPods' success has drawn Google and Amazon’s attention and these two companies will launch AirPod-alike products in the second half of 2019 The combined shipments of two brands will likely reach 10–20 million units in the second half of 2019."

The idea that Google has some wireless earbuds in the pipeline isn't a new one, though. It was widely expected that Google would launch an updated version of its Pixel Buds alongside the Pixel 3, though the closest we ended up getting were USB-C earbuds - which are functionally the same thing, just without the Bluetooth. It would be surprising  if Google didn't have an update planned, especially after how much flack the Pixel Buds got for generally being quite shit. Plus, considering the Pixel Buds mimicked the Apple-like design of the bits that go inside your ear, then naturally a wireless follow-up would look very similar to Apple's.

In other words, Google doing this is basically a given, and with the late 2019 timeframe my guess is that they'd launch alongside the Pixel 4 - essentially making the then-two year old Pixel Buds obsolete.

As for Amazon, I guess this makes sense. The company has been slowly expanding its gadget portfolio the past few years, especially with audio, so it's quite likely the company would make this jump. Kuo also makes note that since Alexa is "the best voice assistant" it means they're best-suited to compete with Apple. Which is true, provided the earbuds are actually good and not another Fire Phone. After all Alexa is already available with other wireless earbuds.

I'm calling it now, though, if Kuo is correct my money is on Amazon naming their earbuds Echo Pods or Echo Buds. [Pocket Lint]