Apple is working on AirPods Lite, a cheaper version of its wireless earbuds, according to an industry analyst.
This would appeal to those who find even the lowest-cost AirPods out of their reach. And would help buoy interest in Apple’s product when sales are expected to slow in 2023.
AirPods Lite could take on cheap earbuds
AirPods are already very popular. Apple owns a whopping 31% of the world market for smart headphones – three times the market share of its closest competitor.
But further growth is surely hampered by the fact that the lowest AirPods go is $129. Compare that to EarFun’s Free Pro 2 with active noise cancellation and a $79 price. Plus a positive Cult of Mac review.
Apple’s answer is AirPods Lite, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst with Haitong Intl Tech Research. His details are extremely slim, just noting that the earbuds will be a “lower priced product.”
Apple might be considering the headphone equivalent of the iPhone SE series: an older version of the product modestly updated and rebranded. It could drop 2019’s AirPods 2 from its lineup, then release a product that’s similar but at a lower cost.
Of course, the company will be careful to nerf the wireless earbuds so as to not undercut sales of AirPods 3. They certainly won’t have Spatial Audio or Active Noise Cancellation.
When AirPods Lite will debut, or what they will cost, remains a mystery for the present.