It sure looks like AirPods 3 aren't coming anytime soon
Yet another source says AirPods 3 are scheduled for Q3 2021
DigiTimes is reporting (via MacRumors) that Taiwanese component supplier ASE Technology has begun production of the optical sensors that Apple will be using inside its upcoming third-generation AirPods.
Sources within the industry say Apple is targeting an AirPods 3 launch in Q3 2021, which lines up with the timeline analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared last week. The third quarter runs from July to September, so an announcement alongside the iPhone 13 series is possible.
The third-gen AirPods are expected to be the perfect blend of Apple’s existing AirPods and AirPods Pro, from the perspective of design. Leaked photos show they’ll offer significantly shorter stems while retaining the universal in-ear design.
Feature-wise, the most logical upgrade would be a new audio chip that enables better sound quality. Perhaps a bigger battery could be on the cards too, although the more compact design might make that difficult to achieve.
One thing’s that’s increasingly unlikely to make the cut is active noise cancelation, though. The lack of silicone tips on AirPods 3 means that it’d be difficult to achieve the necessary seal. These should be much cheaper than the $249 AirPods Pro too, so from a financial perspective it doesn’t make as much sense to include the feature.
AirPods Pro 2 could launch alongside AirPods 3
In addition to AirPods 3, Bloomberg previously reported that Apple is working on a pair of second-generation AirPods Pro. These are also tipped to launch in late 2021 but could boast a Galaxy Buds-like design that eliminates the stems.
However, Apple was said to be having trouble integrating the noise-cancellation tech and other necessary components into such a small package, so the final design could be less ambitious.