Waiting for refreshed AirPods? You might have to wait a little longer

Apple AirPods on iPhone
Apple AirPods on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report claims plans for an AirPods refresh have been pushed back.
  • They were reportedly planned for later this year, but now might not make that window.
  • We'd previously heard that they were ready to be announced.

Despite leaker Jon Prosser saying that new AirPods are ready to ship, a report by Nikkei Asian Review claims that Apple has shelved plans to launch them later this year.

In a larger piece about Apple's plans to move manufacturing away from China and towards Vietnam, the report notes in passing that AirPods supply has been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and that a refreshed AirPods launch has been delayed.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak has also hit AirPods demand, as Apple was forced to close many of its brick-and-mortar stores. Apple has told its suppliers to lower production for the first half of 2020 by more than 10% from its original orders of around 45 million units, which it placed in January, people familiar with the production plan said. The plan to introduce an update of the AirPods later this year is also currently affected and delayed by the disruptions of COVID-19, they said.

This isn't the first time that we've heard of delays in the AirPods lineup. A previous DigiTimes report claimed something similar in relation to AirPods Pro just last month. That came after Prosser said that new AirPods might be announced as soon as this month.

It's becoming increasingly clear that it's impossible to know for sure what's going on with AirPods and AirPods Pro right now. However, it's worth noting that Prosser has been right on the money of late. It might be worth keeping that in mind.

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.