This will essentially raise concerns for brands like Bose, Sony and Apple's own Beats by Dre who now have a strong foothold in the premium market with their range of noise-canceling audio products. Apple intends to launch the new headphones in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season although development challenges could toss a wrench into those plans.
Apple has not released AirPods' exact sales numbers; the product has been lumped in with Apple Watch and other products in the "Other Sales" category.
Because of this, we have absolutely no idea when Apple might release the headphones. The news was first reported last week in a KGI Securities note that suggested the headphones were on the way. There are also concerns that this new product could end up cannibalizing sales from the Beats brand that's also owned by Apple.
The report suggests Apple will repeat its strategy with the HomePod in terms of its pricing and target market, with the new headphones from the company priced to match similar high-end audio gadgets from Bose and even the company's own Beats line.
"With a use case centering on frictionless access to Siri and other tasks initiated by voice, AirPods really act as an extension of the iPhone", wrote NPD Executive Director Ben Arnold in a August 2017 report.
A pair of wireless headphones, to rival those produced by Bose, Sennheiser, and Beats itself, seems like a logical step for Apple.
Researcher NPD Group said previous year that sales of AirPods and Beats headphones gave Apple 27 percent of the wireless headphone market and nearly half the dollars spent on the category. Those headphones already take advantage of Apple's W1 chip.
Alongside noise-cancellation, Apple is also said to be incorporating the wireless pairing technology found on the AirPods. AirPods have been tricky to assemble and use unusual design tricks, likely making them expensive to produce.
If they are anything similar to the Airpod, except consumer pandemonium and long waitlists once these headphones make their retail debut.