The next AiPods Max refresh, low-cost AirPods, and the HomePod mini 2 could enter into mass production in H2 2024. These products could go on sale between the end of 2024 and the first half of 2025.
Apple is unlikely to announce new audio products for the remainder of 2023 or H1 2024.
New AirPods Max and HomePod mini 2 could arrive in 2024
In a series of tweets, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple’s “next important acoustic product refresh time” will be the second half of 2024 to the first half of 2025. The product launches would include a new version of AirPods Max. Apple’s premium headphones launched in December 2020. So, it would be almost four years by the time the new model lands.
I predict Apple's next important acoustic product refresh time is will be in 2H24-1H25. The following new products will likely start mass production in 2H24 at the earliest.
1. HomePod mini 2.
2. AirPods Max 2.
3. AirPods low-cost version.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) February 3, 2023
It is unclear what improvements the next-gen AirPods Max could pack. Besides the U1 chip, the headphones could pack a USB-C port instead of Lightning for charging. Other enhancements could include improved noise cancelation, better sound quality, and longer battery life. Here’s hoping Apple also bundles a more usable travel case with them.
The HomePod mini launched in November 2020. Despite the HomePod 2‘s recent announcement, its smaller sibling will only get a refresh in 2024 at the earliest. Again, the rumor mill has not indicated what to expect from the next HomePod mini refresh.
As for the “low-cost” AirPods Kuo mentions in his tweet, they could replace the current 2nd gen. AirPods, which retail for $129. Previous rumors have indicated the new budget AirPods could be marketed as “AirPods Lite” and carry a lower $99 price tag.
Apple will focus on its AR/VR headset in 2023
For 2023, Apple has two major product launches in store. The first is its long-rumored AR/VR headset, which could debut at WWDC23. While not expected to sell in huge numbers, the headset could spark consumer interest in the category.
Next is the iPhone 15 series, due to launch in September 2023. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are rumored to use a new titanium chassis with solid-state buttons and improved cameras, including a periscope shooter on the bigger mode.