Apple’s third-generation AirPods reportedly will look very similar to the AirPods Pro, and a new photo shared online may give us our first glimpse of the new design.
Posted by the website 52Audio, and linked to by Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara, the image shows what could be the top of Apple’s AirPods 3 and the enclosure cover for the new charging case.
This image follows a recent Bloomberg report detailing Apple’s plans for its wireless earbuds. That story suggested that next-gen AirPods will bring better battery life than the current model. (Current AirPods offer around five hours of music-listening time, or around two hours of talk time, before they need to be recharged.)
However, while the next-gen AirPods reportedly will borrow the AirPods Pro form factor — with a shorter stem and switchable ear tips — they supposedly will not come with the AirPods Pro’s noise-canceling tech.
The earbuds in today’s supposedly leaked image do not appear to have the Pro’s switchable ear tips.
When will the next-gen basic AirPods arrive?
According to Bloomberg, the AirPods 3 will ship sometime in the first half of 2021. The basic AirPods last got an upgrade in March 2019. The first-gen model shipped in December 2016. That’s a 27-month gap between new versions. Nineteen months have so far elapsed since the second-gen AirPods shipped. If Apple follows that same upgrade pattern, that would put AirPods 3 on target for July 2021. (Needless to say, with only one previous upgrade to go on, this isn’t an exact predictive science.)
Meanwhile, Apple’s working on several other new AirPods. These reportedly will include a redesigned AirPods Pro (what with the basic AirPods pilfering their design and all), plus the long-awaited over-ear AirPods Studio headphones. These could cost up to $599 for the premium edition.
What are you hoping for from Apple’s next-gen AirPods? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.