The manufacturer of rigid-flex printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in Apple's AirPods 2 is ramping up production of the technology into early 2020 at least, despite rumors that Apple will launch two new ‌AirPods‌ models as early as this year with a different internal design.

airpodslight
DigiTimes reports that Apple supplier Unitech Printed Circuit Board still sees the rigid-flex PCB combination as the mainstream technology for truly wireless headphones, and will expand its production capacity in Taiwan by 25-30 percent in 2019 to meet increased demand from clients.

In contrast, Apple's two new ‌AirPods‌ models are expected to make use of SiP (system in package) technology, which will improve assembly yield rates, save internal space and reduce cost.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts that the two new models will likely go into mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

Kuo has said one of the new ‌AirPods‌ models will feature an "all-new form factor design" and a "higher price" than the second-generation ‌AirPods‌, which cost $159 with a standard charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case. The other model is expected to be a more iterative update to ‌AirPods‌ 2 with the same pricing.

In March 2019, Apple launched its second-generation ‌AirPods‌ powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip, enabling hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original ‌AirPods‌. The second-generation ‌AirPods‌ feature the same outward design as the original.

Bloomberg reported that Apple's third-generation ‌AirPods‌ will feature a new design and perhaps improved water resistance that will allow the ‌AirPods‌ to hold up to "splashes of water and rain."

The ‌AirPods‌ aren't likely to be entirely water resistant, however, and won't be able to be submerged in liquid. These third-generation ‌AirPods‌ are also rumored to include noise cancellation features and increase the distance that ‌AirPods‌ can be listened to away from an iPhone or iPad.

Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Google are all actively developing their own truly wireless headphones, many of which are expected to use the older rigid-flex PCB technology. Apple now dominates nearly 70 percent of the truly wireless headphone market, according to DigiTimes, suggesting Apple's adoption of the new SiP tech could give the company an even greater advantage over rivals as the market continues to grow.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

The Game 161 Avatar
31 months ago
I wonder how people will react when they realize their AirPods are disposable products that only last 2-2.5 years due to poor battery longevity and the cost of replacement is equivalent to buying a whole new pair.
If they do last 2-3 years it’s still money well spent..they are incredible to use
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
31 months ago
I wonder how people will react when they realize their AirPods are disposable products that only last 2-2.5 years due to poor battery longevity and the cost of replacement is equivalent to buying a whole new pair.
I shrugged and bought a new pair the day it was released.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikusak Avatar
31 months ago
I wonder how people will react when they realize their AirPods are disposable products that only last 2-2.5 years due to poor battery longevity and the cost of replacement is equivalent to buying a whole new pair.
Well just buy AirPods clones whose battery doesn’t degrade at all in 2,5 years and if it does the battery can be easily replaced.

No? Oh such don’t exist.

But hey let’s trash Apple anyway! Tim Cook must go!

If Apple increased AirPods volume by 5x they could contain a bigger multi cell battery and they would last. Maybe they could also add an SD card slot, headphone jack and MagSafe into them?

New York Times ran a piece a while ago, title was something along the lines “AirPods are great but they don’t last”.

The author didn’t, however, bother to list a single comparable wireless alternative which does last longer and/or which offers replaceable batteries.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StellarVixen Avatar
31 months ago
As people before said "there are no AirPods competitors". Amazing, one of the best products Apple released in a while. Since I got them, I never looked behind. Goodbye, cables.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
31 months ago
I wonder how people will react when they realize their AirPods are disposable products that only last 2-2.5 years due to poor battery longevity and the cost of replacement is equivalent to buying a whole new pair.
Have you tried breaking down the daily cost of 2-2.5 years of usage? I’m willing to believe AirPods pay for themselves if you consider the excellent battery as it is. I’d say this product is highly successful for everything it’s offering, given the convenience and features included.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
31 months ago
Many buyers are reporting as little as 10-20% play time after just a year of use..
I’m a first GEN Airpod owner from December 2016 when they launched. Now, it would probably be dependent on how frequently someone charges their AirPods, and not let them drain consistently on a regular basis. But I can tell you I still use my first GEN AirPods and I’ve had zero issues with the battery, it’s all about maintenance being a factor.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...