Apple Supplier Ramps Up Production of AirPods 2 Parts to Meet High Demand

by

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.


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 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
18 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)
Avatar
18 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)
Avatar
18 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)
Avatar
18 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)
Avatar
18 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)
Avatar
18 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

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....