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Suppliers of new AirPods worry nobody will buy them because of coronavirus

Midnight Green iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, and Apple Watch Series 5 Edition Space Black Titanium with JUUK Rainbow Ligero Band
Midnight Green iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, and Apple Watch Series 5 Edition Space Black Titanium with JUUK Rainbow Ligero Band (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • DigiTimes maintains new AirPods are coming.
  • It's repeatedly called them AirPods Pro Lite.
  • It now reports that suppliers are worried demand will be low thanks to coronavirus.

We've been hearing various reports out of DigiTimes relating to the so-called AirPods Pro Lite earbuds. It's never been clear exactly what they are, but it doesn't matter if nobody buys them. And that's a concern that Apple's suppliers are now starting to ponder.

According to a new preview – spotted by MacRumors – of a report that DigiTimes will share tomorrow, suppliers are concerned that demand of new AirPods will be low because of the worldwide closure of Apple Stores due to coronavirus. Only stores in Greater China remain open at the time of writing.

There has been a ton of talk suggesting coronavirus might impact Apple's 2020 product launches, but it's the lack of demand that has the company's suppliers worried right now. While Apple Stores are closed, its online operations remain open. As do those provided by its retail partners, too.

The common belief is that the earbuds DigiTimes calls AirPods Pro Lite will actually be AirPods that borrow design cues from AirPods Pro Lite. That means an in-ear design, but no active noise canceling technology.

Apple was expected to hold a March media event, but that is now unlikely given the coronavirus outbreak. We'll be waiting to see whether new AirPods are announced via a press release, though.

We'll also get to see the full DigiTimes report tomorrow as well. Hopefully, that will shed some light on the situation!

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.