AirPods ProSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new investor note.
  • He predicts Apple's over-the-ear headphones may be released by this fall.
  • New generations of AirPods and AirPods Pro are also expected by 2022.

Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new investor note detailing his predictions for Apple's headphone business.

Reported by 9to5Mac, Kuo believes that the next couple of years will introduce a new generation of AirPods, AirPods Pro, and the introduction of Apple's first over-the-ear headphones.

Kuo writes in the note that Apple's rumored over-the-ear headphones may enter mass production by the middle of the summer. If so, the analyst expects the company to debut the new headphones by either late summer or in the fall alongside its other usual releases like the iPhone and Apple Watch. The headphones are rumored to feature a modular design with both leather and light, breathable materials.

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The third generation of AirPods are also expected to be in the works. The next generation of Apple's wireless headphones will enter mass production in early 2021. According to Kuo, the production process for these headphones will switch to something similar to Apple's AirPods Pro, but the external design of the 3rd generation AirPods will stay roughly the same as the current generation.

The second generation of AirPods Pro is expected to go into mass production in either late 2021 or early 2022. Details about potential the design or new features for the new headphones are still unknown.

Kuo also notes that the rumored "AirPods Pro Lite" may not actually be a watered-down version of Apple's noise-canceling wireless headphones, but actually a new generation of Beats headphones.