Apple suppliers are reportedly preparing to enter mass production of a next-generation AirPods model that could replace the current AirPods 2 wireless headphone later this year.
Buried in a report about Apple’s upcoming iPhone plans, Nikkei Asia cites sources as saying a new version of AirPods will start production in August alongside new MacBook Pro models and an expected iPhone refresh.
Rumors surrounding “AirPods 3” have circulated for well over a year. In June 2020, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple would release the next iteration of its popular wireless earbuds in early 2021, but in March said launch plans were delayed.
Spurred on by well-known leakers, fans were prepared for a March launch but hopes were dashed when Apple failed to announce a new headphone product at its “Spring Loaded” event at the end of April.
When it does debut, the forthcoming AirPods model is anticipated to feature a design similar to AirPods 2, albeit with a few tweaks like a shortened stem, adjusted earbud body and an AirPods Pro-style charging case.
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