New entry-level AirPods could hit store shelves this summer

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AirPods-Pro-vs-AirPods
AirPods Pro Lite might look like Apple’s high-end wireless earbuds, or the basic AirPods.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next AirPods go into production very soon, according to an unconfirmed report coming out of Asia. These are the wireless headphones that are typically referred to as AirPods Pro Lite, though they are unlikely to have that name when released.

Taiwan-based DigiTimes reports today:

“Production of an entry-level version of Apple’s AirPods Pro, dubbed tentatively AirPods Pro Lite, is expected to kick off between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter, according to sources at chip and component suppliers engaged in the supply chain for the TWS device.”

So far, DigiTimes has been the only source of reports on these truly wireless headphones (TWS). And this newspaper has a spotty reputation for correctly prediction future Apple products. Still, references to unreleased AirPods showed up in the Target product database, so something could be in the offing.

What the heck are AirPods Pro Lite?

The name they’ve been given leaves many scratching their heads. “AirPods Pro Lite” would seem to indicate that they are simply AirPods.

One possibility is that this monicker indicates that Apple’s upcoming wireless earbuds will use the same design as AirPods Pro with removable silicone tips, but including a stripped-down feature set. That would differentiate them from the current basic AirPods, which have a simpler design.

It’s not known whether the upcoming “Lite” model will replace the basic AirPods in Apple’s lineup. The company could be planning to offer three tiers of TWS headphones.

Source: DigiTimes