Another report says AirPods 3 aren't coming as early as we thought

AirPods 2 with charging case
AirPods 2 with charging case (Image credit: 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 Leak

Airpods 3 Leak (Image credit: 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.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9