KGI remains very bullish on the uptake of Apple’s truly wireless AirPods earbuds ($159: eBay, Best Buy). In a new report published today, Ming-Chi Kuo says that he expects Apple to double shipments of the AirPods in 2018. This would equate to shipments in the range of 26-28 million units.

AirPods have been supply constrained since their introduction in December 2016. Only in the last few weeks has availability improved to the point where the Apple Online Store reports 1-3 day delivery estimates.

In the report, KGI calls AirPods ‘Apple’s most important accessory product’.

AirPods certainly encapsulate Apple’s vision of a truly wireless world with effortless pairing, long battery life, and category-leading portability.

Apple has used AirPods extensively in its marketing, featuring in its holiday ad ‘Sway’ and Apple Watch Series 3 commercials.

The analyst said Apple has been able to improve delivery times by adding an additional assembler, Luxshare, into the supply chain. Until recently, Inventec was the sole manufacturer for AirPods.

Inventec is also billed to be the manufacturer of the HomePod, whose launch was recently delayed into early 2018. KGI says Luxshare may be awarded a share HomePod orders in the future.

Apple has already announced a minor update to the AirPods case which will be released sometime next year. The new case supports inductive charging to be used in concert with the Apple AirPower mat.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.