DigiTimes reports that the new AirPods 3 will most likely launch with the upcoming iPhone 13 series and Apple Watch Series 7. As per supply chain sources, the Taiwanese publisher claims that the Bluetooth headphones will be in a low-price range to compensate for the removed free EarPods from iPhone’s box.
Earlier, it was speculated that AirPod 3 and Apple Music HiFi support will launch in May. The new report sheds light on the possible reason behind the delay. DigiTimes writes that headphones’ launch was pushed back to the second half of 2021 because the supply chain was mostly occupied with iPhone and Apple Watch capacity.
The sources pointed out that their capacities have been mostly occupied by the battery module of the next-generation iPhones set for release in 2021, due to their redesign to use FPCB with SiP module. The Apple Watch that adopts the same configuration is also occupying part of their capacity. As a result, their supply for the AirPods is moved slightly backward from early 2021.
Production of the new AirPods 3 is on track from Fall launch this year
Based on industry sources at the upstream supply chain of the AirPods, the report claims that the shipments of the new AirPods 3 components have begun in small volume but will increase in later 2021. In addition, the source also mentioned that the price of the 3rd generation AirPods will be pocket-friendly.
Shipments of flexible PCBs (FPCB) and SiP modules for use in the next-generation AirPods have kicked off in small volumes, and will be scaled up between late third-quarter and fourth-quarter 2021. Currently, Taiwan-based Zhen Ding Tech and Compeq are key FPBC suppliers for Apple’s products, while SiP substrates are supplied by Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board and Kinsus Interconnect Technology, the sources said.
The sources expect the new AirPods to remain price-friendly and will see increasing demand with the release of the new iPhones, as they will no longer come with a free earphone set.
As per the leaked images of the alleged upcoming Bluetooth headphones, AirPods 3 will have AirPods Pro-like design with a smaller stem and a redesigned smaller charging case.