Latest Apple report says AirPods 3 & AirPods Pro 2 coming in 2021, AirPods X might be Beats
Apple StudioPods over-ear headphones
Kuo expects the new product, which may be branded as Apple StudioPods, to enter mass production sometime this summer. That makes an announcement at WWDC in early June, as predicted by Jon Prosser, and a release several months later very likely.
As reported by Bloomberg last week, Ming-Chi Kuo says the upcoming over-ear headphones will feature swappable magnetic parts. Apple is understood to be developing two variants of StudioPods – premium and fitness – that support an Apple Watch-like customization process.
Apple AirPods X
A $200 price and a September/October launch timeframe were tipped, but Ming-Chi Kuo expressed some doubt about the veracity of these reports. He says the product, which is referred to as 'AirPods Pro Lite' in his report, is “more likely to be” Beats-branded.
If true, that would suggest Apple is planning a premium alternative to the current-gen Beats X which retail at only $99 in the United States.
The analyst sees mass production commencing during the first half of 2021 but doesn’t believe any major design changes will be introduced. AirPods 3 will apparently pair the existing AirPods design with an updated production process that resembles that of AirPods Pro.
Although not mentioned, Apple will presumably introduce a range of upgrades to keep customers interested. The most likely one is a new audio chip designed to replace the Apple H1 that was introduced with AirPods 2.
Apple AirPods Pro 2
AirPods Pro arrived last October with a new in-ear design and noise cancellation; two features not seen on the AirPods lineup before. Despite being only six months old, though, Apple is already planning a second-generation.
Ming-Chi Kuo says in his investor note today that mass production will start in either late 2021 or early 2022. That means the announcement could potentially happen in late October 2021, two years after the originals debuted, or perhaps at the annual March event in 2022.