AirPods 3 still on track to arrive before the end of 2021

AirPods 3 still on track to arrive before the end of 2021

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AirPods sales
They could drop at any time.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next-generation AirPods refresh is still on track to arrive before the end of 2021, according to a new report. The upgrade is rumored to bring a new design, similar to that of AirPods Pro, and other improvements.

The buds were widely expected to appear alongside iPhone 13 and Apple’s newest iPad models during the September 14 event, but that didn’t happen. It has now been well over three years since the last AirPods refresh.

Third-gen. AirPods on the way

To be more specific, the $159 entry-level AirPods were last updated in March 2019 when Apple added improved sound, better battery life, and the H1 chip for more reliable connectivity and “Hey Siri” support.

They’re well overdue a big refresh, then, and according to recent rumors, that’s exactly what Apple has planned. AirPods 3 are expected to ship with a brand-new design inspired by AirPods Pro and new features.

But when? A new report from Digitimes, citing industry sources, claims new AirPods are still on track to launch before the end of 2021. The same outlet said the new buds were already in mass production in mid-September.

Arriving any day now?

Apple has at least one other event, which will be focused on Mac, planned for this month, recent rumors have indicated. It’s possible the newest AirPods will appear then. But they could drop at any time with a little less fanfare.

Only the very first AirPods were given stage time during an Apple event. The second-generation refresh and even AirPods Pro were instead announced in press releases before being made available to preorder.

So, Apple could surprise us by dropping AirPods 3 at any time. Keep your eyes peeled and your credit cards at the ready.