Apple AirPods 3/Pro Lite with $50 lower price and better battery life tipped for 2021 release again

Apple AirPods 3/Pro Lite with $50 lower price and better battery life tipped for 2021 release again
As if to confirm what famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo already disclosed, a new report out of The Elec tips that Apple is indeed preparing to release the AirPods 3 (or AirPods Pro Lite, depending on how you look at it) soon.

So far, Mr Kuo had disclosed that the AirPods 3/Pro Lite would be similar to the AirPods Pro in terms of design, rather than the 2nd generation AirPods, and the new publication confirms that they will be for "those who prefer the shape and fit of the AirPods Pro and don't use noise canceling much." 

Apple AirPods 3/Pro Lite features and battery life

  • AirPods Pro design
  • Longer battery life
  • No active noise-cancelling (ANC)

The source of all that new AirPods 3 information seems to actually be Apple's system-in-package (SiP) supplier which disclosed the information around the new model by saying that it won't feature the mouse-shaped SiP that the AirPods Pro currently have.

The AirPods Pro Lite/AirPods 3 model would rather take out the ANC components, and leave a square-shaped SiP with Apple's H1 chip, leaving room for a larger battery, for instance. In fact, that's exactly what Ming-Chi Kuo advised in the previous leak - that Apple will skip noise-cancelling for the Pro Lite version, but improve the battery life in comparison.

Apple AirPods 3/Pro Lite price and release date

  • $199
  • March-June 2021

"It is expected that the price will be around 20% cheaper than AirPods Pro, which adopts noise-cancelling technology," tips one industry insider today, hinting at the way Apple has cut corners to achieve that sweet $199 AirPods Pro Lite/AirPods 3 price tag. After all, this is how much the current AirPods 2 model costs with the wireless charging case attached.

As for when will Apple release the AirPods 3/Pro Lite, the report tips the first half of next year, leaving March 2021 as an entirely plausible launch time for the AirPods 3 version, given that the AirPods 2 were released in March 2019. Alterntively, they could be released around Apple's WWDC 2021 event in June, or with a simple press release at any time in between.

The new publication claims that its supply chain sources tipped the new SiP is already pinned to start quality verification by year's end (not much left for that process already), and will be entering mass production next year, so we keep our hopes high for a March 2021 Apple AirPods 3 release date.

Why then? Well, Apple thought about releasing AirPods Pro Lite earlier, apparently, but cancelled those plans several times, and has deduced that now is the right time to diversify its AirPods earphones offerings. In fact, we have been hearing that Apple will skip 2020, and launch the AirPods 3 in 2021 since June, and the new report out of the Korean supply chain only comes to confirm it and explain why.

Apple still holds 29% of the global true wireless buds market but said market is growing by leaps and bounds. There is nary an electronics maker that doesn't offer a pair now, and most of them are much cheaper than Apple's AirPods. 

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Samsung, for instance, is preparing to launch the Galaxy Buds Pro next month, complete with ANC, water-resistance, and oodles of battery life, for the same $199 price, which may move it from third to a second place among wireless buds makers, so Apple has to counter with new models at some point.

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