Apple will launch its redesigned third-generation AirPods this year, while redesigned second-generation AirPods Pro models are on track to launch next year with new sensors for fitness tracking.
The third-generation AirPods update has been rumored for a long time now as ready-to-launch, but so far, Apple has held back from announcing them. It has been two years since Apple announced the second-generation AirPods with H1 chip but with the same design as its predecessors. The new redesigned wireless earbuds are expected to have shorter stems and a new case similar to that of AirPods Pro but will not feature active noise cancellation. A new Bloomberg report confirms that the launch is on track for this year.
AirPods Pro 2 could support new fitness tracking features
Apple is also testing a new AirPods Pro design which does not feature the small stems that contain the directional mics. The company touts them as one of the highlight features of its AirPods as they provide much better microphone audio quality than the competition. If Apple decides to go ahead with the new design, it will be interesting to see how it impacts microphone quality.
Bloomberg is also reporting that the new AirPods Pro will ship with updated motion sensors with a “focus on fitness tracking”. Apple’s primary fitness tracking device is Apple Watch, so this would be an unexpected move from the company. Whether the additional tracking from the wireless earbuds will provide more fitness data for Apple Watch users is unknown.
Apple has already cut down AirPods production by up to 30% due to a drop in sales despite shipping 108.9 million AirPods and Beats headphones in 2020.
The report also talks about AirPods Max and how it is in high demand despite the high price. The company is not working on a successor at the moment but is contemplating doing new color variations to the line-up. We hope Apple also considers adding new colors to regular AirPods and AirPods Pro to go along with its focus on colorful new products since the last year.
Lastly, the report talks about an upcoming HomePod speaker with a built-in screen that would function as a FaceTime camera, Apple TV device, and a wireless audio speaker. This product could not launch soon enough as products like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Nest Hub are extremely popular and the cameras and screens make them extremely useful utilities around the house.