Midnight Green iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, and Apple Watch Series 5 Edition Space Black Titanium with JUUK Rainbow Ligero BandSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

What you need to know

  • DigiTimes reports AirPods Pro Lite will launch in mid-2020.
  • It isn't clear what they will look like, or what features they will offer.
  • Universal Scientific Industrial is thought to be producing the SiP.

Rumors of so-called AirPods Pro Lite just won't go away, although it only seems to be DigiTimes suggesting they're incoming. The outlet is at it again, expanding on yesterday's report, suggesting that we can expect a launch towards the middle of 2020.

According to the report, Taiwan-based Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) will pick up orders for the system-in-package (SiP) for AirPods Pro Lite, joining other companies already lined up.

USI will join US-based Amkor, China's JCET and Japan's Murata to scramble for backend orders for AirPods Pro Lite, a new entry-level TWS (true wireless stereo) earphone set to be released in mid-2020, and has a chance of winning a higher portion of the orders, the sources said. Shipments of the new model are likely to be more or less deferred due to the coronavirus outbreak, the sources said.

The real question here is whether anyone knows what AirPods Pro Lite really are. That answer to that appears to be a resounding "no", although there are a couple of possibilities.

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  • They could be cheaper versions of AirPods Pro, but without the active noise canceling technology (ANC).
  • They could be a replacement for the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case that are currently available. Essentially, AirPods 3.

The first option is the way I'm leaning, particularly given the need for a solution to the fact that AirPods simply don't fit everyone's ears. AirPods Pro – complete with interchangeable ear tips – but without the costly ANC makes tons of sense. Remove the AirPods Pro with standard Charging Case from sale, make the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case cheaper, and then price AirPods Pro Lite between those and AirPods Pro.

As Rene would say, "it just makes the kinda sense that does".