Apple to improve AirPods lineup with design refresh, ANC expansion, and USB-C adoption in 2024

According to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s focus for the upcoming year will shift from the iPhone to other devices such as AirPods, Apple Watch, and the highly anticipated mixed-reality headset, Apple Vision Pro.


Fourth-gen AirPods to receive Active Noise Cancellation – Gurman 


Apple’s AirPods are in for a major overhaul in 2024. The lower-end AirPods, currently facing challenges in the market, will see the introduction of two new models. These versions aim to address the shortcomings of the third-generation model, offering distinctive features at different price points.

The fourth-generation AirPods will include design updates, new cases with USB-C charging, and an upper-tier model featuring Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), expanding this feature beyond the AirPods Pro.

AirPods Pro USB-C

Simultaneously, the AirPods Max will receive a subtle update, including USB-C connectivity and potential new color options. The introduction of hearing aid functionality via software updates is also a possibility.

Apple Watch upgrade

The Apple Watch is poised for a significant upgrade in 2024. Recognizing a lack of compelling features in the current lineup, Apple plans to introduce at least one revolutionary new model. More importantly, the tech giant is working on health features, specifically hypertension and sleep apnea detection, designed to elevate the smartwatch’s capabilities.

iPad and MacBook

Apple’s iPad and MacBook product lines are also in for substantial upgrades. The iPad Pro is set to undergo a revamp, and the iPad Air will have a larger screen option. Both the iPad mini and entry-level models will receive faster chips. On the MacBook front, the MacBook Air is slated to gain the M3 chip, while new MacBook Pros (codenamed J614 and J616) are already in development.

M3 chip

Apple Vision Pro

One of the most anticipated releases is the Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset, expected to debut in early 2024. While Apple is still fine-tuning the key selling points for the headset, its potential impact on Apple’s financial story is undeniable. The company compares it to the early iterations of the Apple Watch, indicating its belief in its long-term success.

Vision Pro

iOS 17.3 and Stolen Device Protection

The imminent release of Apple Vision Pro is hinted at by the latest beta version of its operating system, visionOS. The growing use of Vision Pros by engineers and the extensive training of retail employees further support the expectation of a release between January and February.

Alongside these developments, iOS 17.3 introduces a crucial feature: Stolen Device Protection. This feature enhances security by limiting access to key features if an iPhone is stolen, requiring Face ID or Touch ID in unfamiliar locations.

iOS 17.3

iMessage and Android

In addressing the ongoing debate around iMessage and Android, Gurman suggests that while Apple is justified in protecting its platform, there’s a potential solution in releasing an official iMessage app for Android. The absence of iMessage on Android is a point of contention, and introducing it could strengthen Apple’s ecosystem without fear of losing customers to competitors.

(via Bloomberg)

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

Leave a comment