Is This What the New AirPods Will Look Like?
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 similar to the AirPods Pro, with a smaller charging case. The stem will still be longer than the AirPods Pro stem, but still much shorter than the standard AirPods stem.
The images suggest that the AirPods 3 case will be similar in design to the AirPods Pro case. It is much wider than the standard AirPods case to accommodate the new body design, and not as tall because it no longer needs to fit such long stems.
Some rumors have suggested the AirPods 3 will have snap-in silicone earpieces for a more comfortable and customizable in-ear fit, much like the AirPods Pro, but that does not appear to be the design depicted here. If accurate, these images suggest the AirPods 3 will be the same as the current AirPods without silicone tips. It also appears that the AirPods 3 case does not have room for silicone ear tips, further suggesting the likelihood of a tipless design.
The overall design closely lines up with previous reports which have speculated that the design of the new AirPods takes inspiration from the AirPods Pro, even if they will lack certain "Pro" features such as Active Noise Cancellation.
AirPods 3 are expected to continue to feature an Apple H1 chip and all of the standard functionality currently available to the AirPods 2 and the AirPods Pro, such as fast device pairing, quick switching, clear call quality enabled through beam-forming microphones, and long-range connection.
52audio believes that the AirPods 3 will be priced at $150. AirPods 2 sell for $159 without a Wireless Charging Case and $199 with a Wireless Charging Case. It is not clear if Apple will offer both options with the AirPods 3, but it seems likely Qi-based wireless charging functionality will become the standard option.
The timing of the supposed leak also falls in line with other alleged images of the upcoming AirPods. The proven leaker known as "Kang" recently said that new AirPods are "ready to ship," but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not believe we'll see AirPods 3 until the third quarter of 2021.
Renders shared by been supported by images shared by Gizmochina and apparently derived from a "supplier" have also shown the same design overhaul, and counterfeit third-generation AirPods have already hit online marketplaces ahead of the official unveiling.
Apple is also believed to be working on second-generation AirPods Pro, which are rumored to be more compact by eliminating the stem and adopting an earbud design similar to the Galaxy and Google Buds.