Apple’s third-gen AirPods will boast a design and compact system-in-package (SiP) solution similar to AirPods Pro, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims in his latest research note to clients.
Kuo suggests that the next-generation wireless earbuds will arrive in the first half of 2021. That would be approximately 18 months after Apple debuted the AirPods Pro design in 2019.
The design difference between the AirPods Pro and the regular AirPods was described by my colleague Killian Bell in his original review of the AirPods Pro:
“AirPods Pro look a little beefier than regular AirPods, but with a shorter stem that doesn’t look so dorky. They’re accented with black grilles, reminiscent of a stormtrooper’s helmet.”
The usually reliable Kuo says Apple will discontinue the second-generation AirPods when it introduces their successor. The second-gen AirPods debuted in May 2019. They added an H1 processor for hands-free “Hey Siri” and Bluetooth 5 connectivity.
Overall, Kuo thinks AirPods shipments will slow significantly in 2021. Growth is more likely to be in the region of 28% year-on-year, rather than the 65.1% in 2020. This need to drive AirPods sales may be one reason Apple is planning to ship the iPhone 12 without earbuds in the box.
What are you hoping for from Apple’s next AirPods refresh? Let us know in the comments below.