Suppliers begin shipping components for AirPods 3, expected this year

Suppliers begin shipping components for AirPods 3, expected this year
New developments reported by DigiTimes seem to confirm without a doubt that we'll be seeing the AirPods 3 (or rather, the successor to the AirPods 2nd generation, whatever you want to call them) later this very year.

According to the paywalled DigiTimes article, which was also covered by MacRumors, seven Apple suppliers have commenced circuit-board related shipments en masse, and one of the devices these shipments are catering for is the AirPods 3, specifically. The other next-gen products which suppliers are now producing for include the Apple Watch 7 and iPhone 13, all of which use SiP modules.

A Bloomberg report earlier had already told us to expect the third generation of AirPods in later 2021, although Apple had only left us guessing in both its Sprint Loaded and WWDC events this year. Now it's essentially certain, if DigiTimes' industry sources are reliable. 

Thanks to earlier specification and AirPods 3 live photo leaks, we already have an idea of what to expect from Apple's latest true wireless earphones. They will have an improved ergonomic design, and even shorter stems than the most recent AirPods Pro. We also expect to see the addition of pinch functionality on top of the existing tap controls. 

And while some early design renders showed silicone tips present on the AirPods 3, the latest live photos from audio tech site 52Audio have shown an in-ear design just like the first- and second-gen AirPods.

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There will be no active noise cancellation, just like the 1st and 2nd generation AirPods, but that was to be expected—Apple is saving that for the AirPods Pro, it seems. (Apple is also working on incorporating fitness tracking into next year's AirPods Pro.)

The charging case for the third-gen AirPods maintains its very pocketable form factor, but will be short and wide, more like the AirPods Pro in design. 

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