March 5, 2018: Apple AirPods-tyle over-the-ear headphones rumored into include noise cancelation
Not much here that we didn't already see in the KGI report, below. If anything, take it as multiple sources now saying similar things about the potential for AirPods-style over-the-ear-headphones.
AirPods-style pairing is as close to a given as anything can be at this point. Noise cancelation is something a lot of over-the-air headphone users would be looking for in this kind of product.
February 25, 2018: Apple reportedly working on over-the-ear headphone
This comes from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who has an established pattern of gaining information from Apple's suppliers and manufacturing partners.
Having the teams that worked on AirPods and HomePod work on "StudioPods" (or "AirPods Pro" or "AirCans" or whatever Apple ends up calling the over-the-ear headphones...) makes the kind of sense that does. It would leverage existing hardware and software technologies and expertise and provide a more premium — aka higher average selling price (ASP) — product to continue the expansion of Apple's wearables category.
A next-generation W1 (W2 is already in Apple Watch Series 3 doing a slightly different job), would provide for the same easy pairing with everything from Apple Watch to iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, and HomePod-style engineering could make for one of the best listening experiences in its eventual price range.
Beats, which already has over-the-ear studio headphones with the original W1 chip in them could, like AirPods, round-out the Apple-branded offering providing greater diversity and price point for customers — and Apple.
I wonder how long it'll be until a product like "StudioPods" (with cellular) could stream music directly, like Apple Watch, and truly become the next generation, invisible iPod?
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.