Tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple’s assembly partner Foxconn will begin mass production of second-generation AirPods Max and cheaper AirPods in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025.
Apple’s current wireless headphones lineup includes high-end and mid-range models. And except for the $549 AirPods Max which debuted in 2020, other models have been updated recently: the $249 AirPods Pro (2nd generation) which was released in September 2022, and the $169 AirPods (3rd generation) which was released in October 2021.
Currently, the cheapest headphone model is AirPods (2nd generation) retailing for $129. Rumor mills report that the tech giant is working on giving users a more affordable model.
Foxconn subsidiary to take over Goertek as the new AirPods Max assembly
In his latest series of tweets, Kuo shares that a subsidiary of Apple’s long-term partner Foxconn, Hon Teng (FIT) will begin mass production of new and cheaper AirPods in late 2024 or early 2025. But Hon Teng will share the production volume of next-generation AirPods Max with Luxshare.
My latest survey indicates that Hon Teng (FIT) – a Hon Hai/Foxconn Group subsidiary – may be set to take over from Goertek as the new supplier for AirPods assembly. This move will bring significant benefits for Hon Teng.
The next-generation AirPods will likely begin mass shipments in 2H24 or 1H25, including more affordable AirPods (with Apple targeting a price of $99) and new AirPods Max, which will be assembled by Luxshare ICT and Hon Teng.
AirPods assembly and Hon Hai’s EV business/MIH Consortium will be two major growth drivers for Hon Teng in the coming years.
The new report corroborated claims by Jeff Pu, a tech analyst at Haitong International Securities in Hong Kong who said that Apple would launch the affordable “AirPods Lite” in 2024, along with the new Apple Watch Ultra with a micro-LED display. However, he did not share its expected $99 retail price like Kuo.
Previously, a patent granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office revealed that the tech giant was working on adding touch control to the new AirPods Max to replace the currently used Digital Crown.