What you need to know
- Apple is once again said to be readying an AirPods refresh for before the year ends.
- Rumors had us expecting an AirPods component to the iPhone 13 event, but it never happened.
- The unannounced AirPods are expected to look similar to the current AirPods Pro.
Apple was rumored to be ready to announce new AirPods during the iPhone 13 event last month, but that ultimately didn't happen. Now, a new DigiTimes report claims that Apple will still get the new earbuds into stores before the end of the year.
The third-generation AirPods are already thought to be in mass production, with the reason behind the delay in launching as yet unknown. The new earbuds are thought to look similar to the current AirPods Pro, although they won't offer the same level of functionality as the more costly option.
If new AirPods are indeed already in mass production, Apple could potentially announce them at any moment without the need for a special event. While an event is expected to be held for a MacBook Pro refresh within weeks, AirPods refreshes do seem more likely to happen via press release.
Apple's plans for the launch of other products have been hampered by worldwide component and shipping delays, so it's possible that is one of the reasons behind Apple's seemingly delayed launch.
When the refresh does happen it's a safe bet that the new AirPods will be the best iPhone earbuds on the market, at least for most people. AirPods Pro will always be an option for people seeking additional features, while AirPods Max are also available for people who prefer on-ear listening.
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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.