03 January 2023
Apple's AirPods lineup is set for major upgrades in the future. Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known market research analyst, has tweeted what he believes the Cupertino-based tech giant has planned. He claims the team is working on a new AirPods lineup that includes a new AirPods Max and an affordable AirPods Lite.
Kuo says Apple will probably begin next-gen AirPods mass production sometime either during the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025. It means we are still over a year away from seeing these new products. The next-gen AirPods Max will likely be called the AirPods Max 2 but its underlying improvements and changes are unknown. Apple debuted its currently available model in 2020 with features like the H1 chipset, computational audio experience, and different sound modes.
(4/5)— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) January 12, 2023
The next-generation AirPods will likely begin mass shipments in 2H24 or 1H25, including more affordable AirPods (with Apple targeting a price of $99) and new AirPods Max, which will be assembled by Luxshare ICT and Hon Teng.
The more interesting product mentioned in the leak is AirPods Lite. It is not confirmed to be the commercial name yet but will be the most affordable offering in the AirPods lineup. As of now, AirPods 2 and AirPods 3 are sold for $129 and $169 respectively which is quite expensive for many. This is where AirPods Lite comes into the picture which is said to cost around $99.
The leak currently does not mention what changes would be made to the AirPods Lite to keep its cost lower. The major difference will be in the material used for manufacturing. It will certainly not have active noise cancellation and probably no wireless charging case either.