One of Apple's most hotly anticipated new products might be released after the iPhone 12 5G
AirPods Studio concept render
While we do seem to know a lot of stuff about Apple's first-ever 5G-enabled iPhones in advance of their official announcement next week from multiple reliable sources, there's still plenty of mystery surrounding all the other products the Cupertino-based tech giant might unveil at its digital October 13 event.
Although the invitations delivered to the press earlier this week may have hidden the upcoming AirTags in plain sight, confirming their impending arrival, it continues to remain unclear exactly what Apple is planning to do on the audio gadget front.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out something is in the pipeline after the company recently stopped selling popular gear from the likes of Bose, Logitech, and Sonos, but instead of a long overdue premium HomePod 2, a budget-friendly HomePod Mini smart speaker is now expected to see daylight alongside the iPhone 12 family, and believe it or not, the oft-rumored (and oft-delayed) AirPods Studio are likely to need a little more preparation time.
A commercial release ahead of the holidays is still on the cards
You probably don't remember this now, but Apple's elusive own-brand over-ear headphones have been making the rumor rounds since February... 2018. Expected out in 2019 at one point, the AirPods Studio were tipped to "drop at any time" by Jon Prosser... more than five months ago.
The same generally reliable leaker claims to have just heard from an inside source that mass production for these bad boys will not be complete until October 20, which could mean one of several things. The first theory is that Apple will simply go ahead with its previously rumored plan and announce the AirPods Studio on October 13 only to actually ship the high-end wireless cans "at the end of this month or beginning of next."
Leaked AirPods Studio prototype
Alternatively, the company might opt for a low-key introduction via a press release "at the end of this month", which however seems unlikely for a first-of-its-kind product rivaling crazy popular headphones from Sony and Bose. Finally, the AirPods Studio could be "pushed to the November event", which lines up with what initially sounded like wild, unfounded speculation from a far less trustworthy source last month.
For those unaware of Apple's longer-term plans, multiple tipsters and leakers have claimed over the last few months that a separate event will be scheduled sometime next month to focus on MacBook, MacBook Pro, and possibly, iPad Pro revisions.
Whichever of these announcement routes Apple will ultimately choose, we have reason to expect a commercial debut for the AirPods Studio on the heels of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini now but still well ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
At least two 5G iPhones could be released in November too
While the $350 or so AirPods Studio continue to be cloaked in secrecy (and confusion) as far as launch schedules go, almost everyone that's someone expects two main iPhone 12 models to come out in October and two additional 5G-capable variants next month.
More specifically, the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and 6.1-inch "regular" iPhone 12 could start shipping as early as October 23 following a pre-order kick-off on October 16, with the ultra-high-end 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch 12 Pro Max arriving in the hands of early adopters at an unknown point in November.
Said point may well mark the release of the AirPods Studio, although this is just a guess on our part based on all the gossip swirling around and the obvious marketing connection between these wireless headphones and the iPhone 12 5G lineup. It wouldn't make much sense to unveil a pair of Sony and Bose-competing over-ear cans alongside new MacBooks or even an upgraded iPad Pro generation with 5G support, but it's probably wise not to jump to conclusions or be certain of anything yet.
That includes those leaked AirPods Studio renders from a few weeks back, which point to a pretty... divisive design with large ear cups connected to an oversized headband by a thin strip of metal and a lot of fabric elements.
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