AirPods 3 Unexpectedly Delayed Despite Leaks

Apple's third-generation AirPods appear to have been unexpectedly delayed, in spite of mounting rumors suggesting that the launch of Apple's updated earphones was imminent.

AirPods Gen 3 Feature
According to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the third-generation AirPods will not begin mass production until the third quarter of 2021, meaning that the updated wireless earphones would not ship until later in the year. This has since been supported by the leaker known as "L0vetodream," who suggested that ‌AirPods‌ 3 will not be launching any time soon.

Kuo previously said in November of 2020 that the AirPods 3 would launch in the first half of 2021, and a range of other rumors likewise claimed the new AirPods could come as soon as this month.

There have been a large number of leaked images depicting the redesigned third-generation AirPods, which normally suggests that a launch is close, and Kang, a well-respected leaker who often shares accurate information about Apple's plans, said in mid-March that the AirPods 3 are "ready to ship."

airpods 3 3Purported leaked image of third-generation AirPods

Kuo's comments therefore seem to suggest that ‌AirPods 3‌ have been significantly delayed past their originally expected launch date, but it is not clear why leaks surrounding the next-generation AirPods have ramped up in recent weeks if launch is still many months away.

It is currently unknown if AirPods 2 will stop being produced when the ‌AirPods 3‌ enter mass production. Though Kang has claimed that AirPods 2 will be discontinued upon the launch of ‌AirPods 3‌, Kuo explains that the decision of whether or not to discontinue AirPods 2 is causing a dilemma for Apple.

With AirPods shipments expected to decline to 78 million units in 2021, down from 90 million in 2020, Apple needs to avoid cannibalizing the sales of ‌AirPods 3‌ with lower-priced AirPods 2, but the company is also apprehensive about having no low-cost option in the product lineup.

Third-generation AirPods may yet emerge at an Apple event in April, alongside new iPad Pros and the long-awaited AirTags item trackers, but in light of Kuo's latest comments, it now seems unlikely.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Related Stories

AirPods Lineup Not Lossless Feature

AirPods, AirPods Max and AirPods Pro Don't Support Apple Music Lossless Audio

Monday May 17, 2021 10:44 am PDT by
Apple today announced that starting in June, Apple Music songs will be available to stream in Lossless and Hi-Resolution Lossless formats, but lossless audio won't be supported on the AirPods, AirPods Max, or AirPods Pro. Apple's Lossless Audio is encoded as Apple Lossless Audio Codec files, with lossless quality ranging from 16-bit 44.1 kHz playback to 24-bit 48 kHz playback and Hi-Res...
airpods 3 1

Is This What the New AirPods Will Look Like?

Friday April 16, 2021 4:24 am PDT by
Amid continuing signs that third-generation AirPods are in the works, a number of images of the new design have purportedly leaked online. Images recently shared by 52audio claim to reveal the updated design of the third-generation AirPods, perhaps giving us the first clear look at Apple's next-generation wireless earbuds. The images depict AirPods with a shorter stem and a design very...
airpods heath features

AirPods Could Get Health Tracking Features to Beat Competitors

Monday May 17, 2021 3:04 am PDT by
Apple may add health tracking features to AirPods in an effort to combat rival wireless earbuds from companies like Samsung, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that Apple's sales of AirPods are expected to decline substantially this year, which will likely prompt the company to explore adding new, innovative features to ...
airpods 3 1

New AirPods Expected to Launch in Third Quarter as Production Gets Underway

Thursday March 25, 2021 8:44 am PDT by
Taiwanese supplier ASE Technology has started production of optical sensors for next-generation AirPods slated to launch in the third quarter of 2021, according to industry sources cited in a paywalled DigiTimes story preview today. The full report has yet to be published, so there are no further details at this time, but the timeframe lines up with information shared by Apple analyst...
AirPods Combo Discount Feature Yellow

Deals: Get AirPods Pro at $197 ($52 Off) and Regular AirPods at $119.99 ($39 Off) on Amazon

Wednesday June 2, 2021 7:53 am PDT by
Amazon is offering up to $52 in savings on Apple's AirPods, including the regular model and the AirPods Pro. If you're shopping for the AirPods Pro, you can get these for $197.00 on Amazon, down from $249.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. This price is...
AirPods Combo Discount Feature Duo

Deals: Shop for AirPods Pro at $197 ($52 Off) and Regular AirPods at $129 ($30 Off) in Amazon's New Sales

Monday April 19, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
New markdowns on Apple's AirPods and AirPods Pro have emerged to kick off the week, with up to $52 in savings on the Bluetooth headphones. If you're shopping for the AirPods Pro, it's still a solid time to buy this version of Apple's wireless headphones, now priced at $197.00, down from $249.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
fake airpods cpb

Shipment of Fake AirPods Worth More Than $7 Million Seized By U.S. Authorities

Monday May 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
A shipment of more than 36,000 fake AirPods from China to Cincinnati has been seized by Customs and Border Protection after the fake earbuds were found to violate Apple's copyright infringement rules, according to a press release from the agency. The shipment of earbuds were declared seized on May 11 and May 13 after they were found to include not only Apple's logo but also the shape and...
airpodsprodesign

Apple Updates AirPods Pro and AirPods 2 Firmware to Version 3E751

Wednesday April 28, 2021 10:44 am PDT by
Apple today released a new 3E751 firmware update for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro, updating them from the prior 3A283 firmware that was released back in September. Apple does not offer information on what's included in refreshed firmware, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There's no standard way to upgrade the AirPods‌...

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...