Google and Amazon are planning to enter the truly wireless in-ear headphones market that is currently dominated by Apple’s AirPods. The two companies are working on alternatives that could launch very soon. 

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo disclosed in a new note, which was spotted by 9to5Mac on Wednesday, that Google and Amazon are currently preparing AirPod-like products with Goertek and Unitech as their suppliers. 

Kuo said Google and Amazon decided to join the truly wireless earbuds market after noticing the success of Apple’s AirPods. The two companies are expected to introduce their AirPods alternatives in the second quarter of 2019. 

“We believe that AirPods’ success has drawn Google and Amazon’s attention and these two companies will launch AirPod-alike products in 2H19. The combined shipments of two brands will likely reach 10-20mn units in 2H19. Goertek (assembly) and Unitech (RIgid-flex PCB) are sole suppliers for Google and Amazon,” Kuo wrote. 

The analyst also pointed out that Google and Amazon could easily become Apple’s main rivals in the truly wireless headphones market given Google’s big influence in the Android ecosystem and Amazon’s popularity in the voice assistant market. 

However, it’s unlikely for Google or Amazon to dethrone Apple in the market anytime soon. Apart from having the advantage of being the first to launch wireless earbuds out of the three, Apple is also preparing new features that could lure more consumers into buying AirPods. 

According to AppleInsider, there are already hints that Apple is working on health-centric features for the AirPods. Various patents and applications do mention built-in biometric sensors for Apple’s wireless earbuds. 

Furthermore, Kuo has pointed out that the human ear is a “perfect sensing area for detecting various health data.” Kuo even added that “it may integrate with the Apple Watch to offer better health management in the future.”

But it seems there’s still a long way to go before Apple could introduce health-focused features to the AirPods. Previous reports stated that the upcoming next-generation AirPods will only have wireless charging support and a Bluetooth specification upgrade. A more pronounced upgrade won’t arrive until 2020. 

AirPods Google and Amazon are preparing alternatives to Apple’s AirPods headphones. Photo: Getty Images/Stephen Lam