Report says Apple will refresh its AirPods line next year

Report says Apple will refresh its AirPods line next year
According to Bloomberg, 2024 might be the year of the AirPods as Apple plans on refreshing the line next year. Apple first introduced the AirPods in 2016 and the design has become iconic. About one month after the OG true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds were launched, the wearable already owned 26% of the market. And the AirPods have remained a staple of Apple's wearable offerings along with the Apple Watch and the device leads the wireless earbuds market with a 32% share according to Canalys.

Bloomberg says that we could see the priciest AirPods, the over-ear AirPods Max, get a new version that will include a USB-C charging port and new color options. A previous patent application filed by Apple suggests that the AirPods Max 2 will replace the digital crown with a touch-sensitive surface. The AirPods Max carries a $549 price tag and includes noise cancellation.

The report says that the AirPods second and third-generation models, priced at $129 and $169 respectively, will be replaced with two fourth-generation AirPods earbuds that feature a new design that will look like a combination of the AirPods 3 and the AirPods Pro 2. This will include shorter stems and one of the 4th-generation AirPods will come with noise cancellation. The pricing of the new fourth-generation AirPods is expected to be similar to the current pricing for the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3 with one lower-priced variant and one higher-priced model.

The higher-priced fourth-generation AirPods that includes noise cancellation will also come with an updated charging case that features speakers for Find My alerts, something available on the latest AirPods Pro charging case. These alerts, which are set off when an AirPods owner loses his case, will be easier to hear. And while both new 4th-generation AirPods are said to have a better fit, they are not expected to offer replaceable tips like the AirPods Pro do.

The charging cases for the two new fourth-generation AirPods will be equipped with a USB-C charging port replacing the proprietary Lightning port. The AirPods will also get some new color options. Apple hopes that by adding the noise cancellation feature to the higher-priced fourth-generation AirPods model it will give consumers a reason to pay more for the pricier fourth-generation AirPods variant. Currently, the $129 AirPods 2 sell more than the $169 AirPods 3 because buyers don't see $40 worth of difference between the two models.

The next iteration of the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro is expected to come in 2025 according to the report.

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