Kuo: AirPods 3 with Pro design, mini LED iPad coming first half of 2021

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is planning to release new AirPods and a mini LED iPad soon.
  • A new report from Ming-Chi Kuo says that both will come in the first half of 2021.
  • Kuo states that Apple's AirPods 3 will adopt the same design as the AirPods Pro.

Apple plans to release a new set of AirPods 3 and a mini LED iPad in the first half of 2021, according to the latest report.

In a research note seen by iMore, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo highlights Apple supplier Jialianyi, which the note says is expected to benefit hugely from both of these new products, as well as the iPhone 13, next year.

The report says that Apple's iPhone 13 (expected in the second half of the year) will be the first to adopt 'soft board battery technology', which will save space and reduce costs of making the device. Jialianyi will be one of the main suppliers of this tech.

On Apple's new AirPods, Kuo says that 'AirPods 3' will adopt a design similar to that of the AirPods Pro, echoing similar previous reports from Kuo and a recent Bloomberg report. That report noted that Apple's third-generation AirPods would have a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips, much like the AirPods Pro, as well as improved battery life. However, it is expected that these AirPods will not feature noise-canceling technology. Kuo states these will be released in the first half of 2021.

Kuo also remarks in the note that Apple will release a new mini LED iPad in the same timeframe, although it is not specified whether they would launch at the same time, or separately.

Rumors of a new mini LED iPad have persisted for several months. Originally planned for the end of this year, reports, including this latest one from Kuo, now suggest a new mini LED iPad, possibly an iPad Pro, will be released in the first six months of next year.

Mini-LED technology would likely make for a big increase in display quality and power efficiency in the new device.

Rumors persist that Apple also plans to release a new set of over-ear AirPods Studio, however, it was reported in October that Apple had delayed these until at least the end of this year, but that a release next year was just as likely.

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