Apple to add health monitoring feature to wireless earbuds, analyst predicts

Apple may be looking into health features for its wireless earbuds, AirPods, according to a Dec. 4 note from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reviewed by Business Insider.

Mr. Kuo is known for his strong track record of predicting new features in Apple products. In September, he predicted the iPhone maker would integrate an electrocardiogram sensor into its newest smartwatch, releasing a note outlining his hypothesis two days ahead of Apple's official announcement.

In the Dec. 4 note, Mr. Kuo said AirPods will become "increasingly important in Apple's ecosystem," potentially fostering brand loyalty and becoming a key reason an iPhone user would refrain from switching to an Android device.

Mr. Kuo added the ear is "a perfect sensing area for detecting various health data," according to Business Insider. He suggested Apple may decide to integrate the AirPods with health-focused Apple Watch features in the future.

Beyond Apple, Mr. Kuo argued more smartphone brands are turning their attention to new products, such as wireless earbuds, to offset slowing smartphone shipments.

"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]," Mr. Kuo wrote. "The combined shipments of two brands will likely reach 10-20 million units in [the second half of 2019.]"

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