Apple will launch a second generation of AirPods Pro in the fall, according to an analyst who’s also a reliable tipster. The upgraded earbuds allegedly will offer better sound than the current version, via support for lossless audio. And there reportedly will be other changes, too, including a new design.
Long before the launch, AirPods of all kinds are shipping like crazy, thanks to Apple’s lowering the cost, according to the same analyst.
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New AirPods Pro 2 in 2022
The latest tips about AirPods Pro 2 come in a note to investors by Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities sent Sunday and seen by Cult of Mac. In it, Kuo wrote:
“We expect Apple to launch AirPods Pro 2 in 4Q22 with new selling points, including a new form factor design, support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) format, and a charging case that can emit a sound for users to track.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that a new version of these in-ear headphones will arrive in autumn. But the previous report pointed to Q3 rather than Q4. The current version launched in October 2019, so the new version will apparently land a full three years later.
What to expect from AirPods Pro 2
Kuo’s tip apparently indicates that AirPods Pro 2 will be the first Apple wireless headphones to support the company’s lossless format. In 2021, Apple Music began offering high-quality audio this way. But AirPods support only ACC format, which reduces audio quality in order to make it transferable over Bluetooth. (That makes ACC a lossy format, incidentally.)
Earlier rumors indicated AirPods Pro 2 could bring an even more compact design with a more rounded shape. Plus motion sensors for fitness tracking. Kuo’s report also mentioned health-management features in the truly wireless headphones.
Over the years, Kuo has built a reputation for reasonable accuracy. Apple Track gives him a 75.9% rating. His sources are generally in Apple’s component supply chains.
AirPods selling like hotcakes
It won’t take a new version for AirPods to have a blockbuster quarter, however. Kuo says Apple shipped 27 million of them in the last quarter of 2021, a 25% year-over-year increase.
And he predicts almost the same number will ship in the January quarter, even though winter is often a slow time for gadget sales.
“AirPods have shipped better than expected for two consecutive quarters, with Apple launching AirPods 3 and reducing the price of AirPods 2 in 4Q21 as the key to success,” he said.
During the holidays, Amazon sold AirPods 2 for just $89.99, way down from the usual $179. That deal is now over — the earbuds are now a mere $10 off. But you currently can get AirPods Pro 2 for $52 off on Amazon.