AirPodsSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says new AirPods are coming in the first half of 2021.
  • They'll look like AirPods Pro, he says.
  • But don't expect the same features.

Rumors of an AirPods Lite release have been coming out of DigiTimes for months at this point and now analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has backed part of the story. Yes, the new AirPods will look similar to AirPods Pro but they will be marketed as standard AirPods. Just as we thought.

According to a new research note for TF International Securities and picked up by MacRumors, the AirPods will sport the same in-ear design that we've become accustomed to with AirPods Pro, but without the upgraded features such as active noise cancellation and such. That will allow an AirPods Pro-like appearance but without the beefy $249 asking price.

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Apple is likely to try to stick to the popular $159 starting price for the new AirPods when they go on sale in the first half of 2020, although it isn't clear whether that will see Apple bring the Wireless Charging Case down to that price point. Buyers currently need to pay $199 if they want to avoid plugging a Lightning cable into their AirPods' standard Charging Case.

It's a safe bet we won't see any new AirPods during today's WWDC event, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of reason to follow along. This could be a big one, especially if rumors of a transition to ARM-based Macs are accurate.

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