AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event
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. DigiTimes states that shipments of certain components needed for the AirPods have already begun in "small volumes" and will be ramped up in the third and fourth quarters of the year.
The third-generation AirPods will be the first update to the standard AirPods since March of 2019, where it gained wireless charging support, "Hey Siri" support, and improved internals. Compared to the modest update in 2019, the upcoming AirPods are expected to feature an entirely new design that takes inspiration from the higher-end AirPods Pro.
Images claiming to be the upcoming AirPods 3 have shown a design in line with leaks and rumors. The images showcase the AirPods with a shorter stem and functionality for snap-in silicone earpieces. As for the AirPods case, the upcoming case will be wider compared to the previous generation, and more in parity with the AirPods Pro case.
Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman recently stated he believes that an Apple event for the upcoming iPhones will occur in September. Due to the global health crisis, Apple last year held an event in October for the iPhone 12, but the company is likely on track to resume back to its September event traditions beginning this fall. Gurman has also stated that the third-generation AirPods will launch later this year.
Apple's AirPods have continued to grow and dominate the wireless earphone market, with the Cupertino tech giant estimated to have shipped nearly 110 million AirPods and Beats headphones in 2020, far exceeding any other maker. With the lack of a headphone shipping in the iPhone box, Apple may want to use its rumored September event to market the AirPods 3 alongside the new iPhones, fueling AirPods success for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.
The updated AirPods may also prove vital for the AirPods line's future health, as Apple has reportedly asked its suppliers to lower production of its current AirPods due to lower-than-expected sales. Despite its dominance in the wireless headphone market, there is growing competition from other makers making similar wireless earbuds but at lower price points.
Further down the line, Apple is also working on the second generation of the AirPods Pro, which may feature advanced health tracking and a design similar to the recently launched Beats Studio Buds. The new AirPods Pro, however, shouldn't be expected until next year.