Report: Apple may introduce redesigned AirPods and AirPods Pro in the first half of 2021

Apple’s AirPods earbuds have come to define the true wireless (TWS) category and is one of the company’s most successful products. In fact, analyst expect Apple to sell 85 million AirPods in 2020, generating about $15 billion in revenue.

Now, a report from Bloomberg states that Apple is working on a third-generation entry-level AirPods and a second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds.

The design of the updated entry-level AirPods are said to be similar to the current AirPods Pro. Most notably, the new version would have a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips. But unlike the higher-end earbuds, it still won’t come with noise-cancellation.

As for the AirPods Pro, Apple is reported to be working on eliminating the stem. Bloomberg said the design that is currently being tested by the Cupertino company would be a “more rounded shape that fills more of a user’s ear.” This would be similar to the designs used by Samsung, Amazon and Google on their own wireless earbuds.

Bloomberg article however notes:

The integrating noise-cancellation, wireless antennas and microphone into a compact AirPods Pro case could prove to be challenging. Finally, this may result in a less ambitious design when the product is finalised.

The report also stated that both the third-gen AirPods and second-gen AirPods Pro might use a new wireless chip, possibly the U1 ultra-wideband chip that was used in the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPhone 11.

So, when can we expect to see the new generation of AirPods? It is hinted that they may drop during the “first half of next year”. However, it is unclear if the timeline also applies to the new AirPods Pro.

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There is also word that the rumoured Apple over-ear headphone, the AirPods Studio, might be delayed as the device has “faced several development challenges over the past two years.” Apple’s AirPods Studio is targeted to beat mainstays in the headphone market like Sony’s WH-1000XM4. Even Huawei recently released its first over-ear headphone with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) called the FreeBuds Studio.

In case you were wondering, the Cupertino-based company currently sells the entry-level AirPods in Malaysia for RM699 while the AirPods Pro goes for RM1,099.


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