AirPods 2 with charging caseSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • A new report says next-generation AirPods will launch in Q3 of 2021.
  • It isn't the first to suggest AirPods might come in the second half of this year.
  • That's despite multiple reports they were supposed to be coming much sooner.

A new report reiterates Apple's next-generation AirPods 3 will not be released until the second half of the year.

From Digitimes:

Backend house ASE Technology has kicked off optical sensors production for the next-generation AirPods slated for launch in the third quarter of 2021, according to industry sources.

This is the second recent report regarding Apple's new AirPods and a later-than-expected release time. From March 15:

Apple won't put AirPods 3 into mass production until the third quarter of 2021. That's according to a new research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, depending on how you read it.

A new research note seen by iMore says that "AirPods 3 [are] expected to ship in large quantities in 3Q21," which could mean that we won't see the AirPods refresh for a few months yet. As part of the same note Kuo says that he expects AirPods shipments as a whole to decline to around 78 million, a considerable fall from the 90 million shipped in 2020.

Airpods 3 LeakSource: Gizmochina

Multiple reports had previously stated Apple would replace AirPods 2 much earlier than this. Just days before the above, a super-reliable leaker by the name of Kang said Apple's new AirPods were ready to ship. In November, the aforementioned Ming-Chi Kuo said that they would be released in the first half of 2021, echoing a Bloomberg report from Mark Gurman again saying the first half of 2021 was a possibility. We were previously told that AirPods were ready to ship by Jon Prosser, who said they would debut at a March Apple event, which is now expected to take place in April instead.

Apple is expected to debut a slightly updated design more in line with Apple's AirPods Pro, the best true wireless earbuds going, however, they are not expected to feature noise-canceling technology.