Apple is planning to launch new AirPods in 2021. More specifically, the tech giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and second-gen AirPods Pro, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
Both wireless earbuds will reportedly feature new designs and upgraded internals. The report also notes that Apple’s rumored over-ear headphones are still in development and that the tech giant has internally discussed plans to introduce a third HomePod speaker in its lineup expected in 2021.
Next-gen AirPods and smaller AirPods Pro in 2021
“Apple is aiming to make the earbuds more compact by eliminating the short stem that currently sticks out from the bottom. A design in testing has a more rounded shape that fills more of a user’s ear – this form factor would be similar to the latest designs from Samsung Electronics Co., Amazon.com Inc., and Google.”
However, sources familiar with the product told the publishers that integrating noise-cancellation, wireless antennas, and microphones into a smaller AirPods Pro casing have proved challenging during development. It is likely that the hurdles result in a less ambitious design when the product is finalized.
The design of the updated entry-level AirPods will be similar to the current AirPods Pro, with a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips. Apple is also looking to improve battery life. That model, however, will not have Pro model features like noise-cancellation. The third-generation earbuds could be announced as early as the first half of next year.
Alongside the upcoming Bluetooth wireless earbuds, the report claims that the tech giant is still planning to announce high-end, noise-canceling over-ear headphones. The device has faced several development challenges over the past two years and has been delayed multiple times.
The design of the headphones has reportedly changed to reduce the side of the external touchpads, as well as the number of swappable parts it has. The headphones were reportedly due to go into production a few weeks ago but were pushed back due to problems with the headband, that part was deemed too tight in some testing.
Lastly, it is also stated that Apple has internally discussed adding a third HomePod speaker to its lineup. However, development is thought to be in its early stages, and the speaker may not end up being released.