Amazon is reportedly readying a set of Alexa-enabled fully wireless earbuds intended as competition for Apple’s popular AirPods earbuds. The buds could ship as soon as the second half of 2019.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the new earbuds are expected to look and act similar” to AirPods, complete with a charging case. Black and gray color options may be available, and Amazon is said to be focusing on better audio fidelity.
The new earbuds would support both Apple and Android devices. Most common Alexa commands will work, accepting commands for music, weather, and even Amazon orders. Gesture commands will allow users to answer calls or change songs.
The project is said to have a high priority and is in the works at Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division. However, the report indicates the project has been hit with delays. Amazon is said to have been searching for suppliers and manufacturers in recent months.
If Amazon does release a set of wireless earbuds, they could use huge discounts to cut into Apple’s share of the fully wireless earbuds market, which estimates suggest is as high as 60% of all wireless sales in the December quarter. Amazon is known to take a financial hit upfront, only to turn a profit on services later on.