New AirPods Expected Later This Year as Suppliers Begin Component Shipments

At least seven Apple suppliers have reportedly kicked off circuit board-related shipments for upcoming Apple products, and this notably includes third-generation AirPods, which are expected to be released later this year.

airpods 3 5
"Suppliers including Semco, LG Innotek, Kinsus, Unimicron, Nan Ya, Zhen Ding and AT&S have all kicked off their BT substrate shipments for Apple's next-generation products including the Apple Watch, AirPods and iPhone, which all adopt SiP modules," a paywalled DigiTimes report claimed today, citing industry sources.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu previously reported that the third-generation AirPods will be released later in 2021 with a similar design as the AirPods Pro, including shorter stems. This would mark the first update to the standard AirPods since March 2019, when the second-generation pair launched with the H1 chip for hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time than the original AirPods.

The second-generation AirPods are priced at $159 with a wired charging case and at $199 with a wireless charging case, and the third-generation AirPods would maintain a lower price than the AirPods Pro, which cost $249 regularly but are frequently on sale. It's likely that the third-generation AirPods will lack some higher-end features like active noise cancellation to maintain this lower price point.

As for the AirPods Pro, a second-generation pair with fitness tracking are rumored to launch next year, and they may have a more compact design similar to Apple's new Beats Studio Buds released earlier this month.

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

Top Rated Comments

Khedron Avatar
12 weeks ago

My $17,000 credit limit is ready!!!


A limit is not a target!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
svish Avatar
12 weeks ago
Hope there is no price increase.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThisBougieLife Avatar
12 weeks ago
I hope they still make a model that doesn't use the silicone ear trips. I just don't prefer those.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DesignTime Avatar
12 weeks ago
If only Apple would make the batteries replaceable. I would think it’s possible for a company that “cares” about the environment.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
psxp Avatar
12 weeks ago
I just got the airpods Pros yesterday . They are pretty nice I must say.

To put this in context, this is my first ever set of airpods. I have had the cheap SoundPeats ones before. The integration and ease of use is a big factor with Apple products and these are no exception. Movies on Disney+ sound great.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KaliYoni Avatar
12 weeks ago
What, no bright colors for matching your iMac? No thinner, thinner, thinner? No new emojis and memojis? Just slightly "more compact" and increased functionality?

Sir Jony must be upset.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

airpods 3 gizmochina%403x

Next-Generation AirPods Reportedly Already in Production Despite Not Being Announced at Apple Event

Wednesday September 15, 2021 7:05 am PDT by
While third-generation AirPods were not announced at the Apple Event this week, suppliers have already kicked off shipments of the long-awaited headphones, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese website DigiTimes. In a paywalled preview of its report, DigiTimes said the shipments have been "slow," but production being underway is a good sign that the third-generation AirPods will...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
fake airpods 3

Full AirPods 3 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Thursday September 2, 2021 8:17 am PDT by
With Apple's third-generation AirPods believed to be arriving alongside the iPhone 13, which is just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our news coverage to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's next-generation wireless earbuds. AirPods 3 clones in a clear case, reportedly showing the next-generation design. It is worth...
AirPods Gen 3 Feature

Kuo: Third-Generation AirPods to be Announced During 'California Streaming' Apple Event

Sunday September 12, 2021 6:40 am PDT by
Apple will announce its third-generation AirPods, featuring a new design similar to the AirPods Pro but lacking in "Pro" features during its "California streaming" Apple event on Tuesday, September 14, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo envisions two possible scenarios for how Apple treats the AirPods lineup following the launch of the new...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature teal

AirPods 3 Mass Production Said to Kick Off in August

Tuesday July 20, 2021 8:40 pm PDT by
Mass production of the third-generation AirPods will kick off in August, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. They will reportedly join a number of other products such as the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models as launches coming before the end of the year. Renderings of rumored third-generation AirPods design Rumored launch dates for the third-generation AirPods have...
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...
AirPods3

Gurman: AirPods Pro 2 With Fitness Tracking Coming in 2022, AirPods 3 With 'Pro' Design to Launch Later This Year

Friday May 28, 2021 4:29 am PDT by
Apple is preparing to launch third-generation AirPods this year, and plans to release second-generation AirPods Pro next year, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In line with previous leaks and rumors, Gurman explained that Apple is readying third-generation AirPods for launch later this year. The updated earbuds will apparently come with a new case and feature shorter stems, broadly...
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 Combo Discount Feature Duo

Deals: Solid Discounts Hit Every Model of Apple's AirPods, Starting at $113.99 for AirPods With Wired Charging Case

Tuesday August 10, 2021 7:27 am PDT by
Several retailers today have Apple's AirPods Pro at $189.99, down from $249.00. You'll find this sale price at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. This has been the most popular discount price on the AirPods Pro for 2021. We...
airpods pro in case

Kuo: AirPods Pro 2 to Launch Next Year, AirPods Shipments to Exceed 100 Million

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release its second-generation AirPods Pro next year, according to well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest investor note, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says that demand for AirPods is thought to be "lower-than-expected" for the remainder of this year, revising his forecast to 70-75 million, compared to 75-85 million. According to Kuo, the release of the...