New AirPods Again Rumored, Launch Timing Uncertain Amid COVID-19

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes continues to report that new AirPods are forthcoming.

A paywalled preview of the report claims that suppliers of "Apple's upcoming AirPods series" are more worried about the COVID-19 pandemic affecting demand of the earphones than the virus impacting the supply chain. AirPods sales could be affected by factors such as closed Apple Stores and increasing calls for people to stay home if possible amid the pandemic.


Apple released higher-end AirPods Pro in October 2019 with several improvements over regular AirPods, including active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and water and sweat resistance, along with a new in-ear design. AirPods Pro are priced at $249 in the United States, while regular AirPods with a wireless charging case are $199.

Earlier this month, it was rumored that a new entry-level version of AirPods Pro will enter production by the second quarter of 2020, but no further details have been shared. It has been speculated that the earphones could end up being third-generation regular AirPods with the same design and sound quality as AirPods Pro, but without active noise cancelation. Apple released its second-generation AirPods on Wednesday, March 20 last year.

Launch timing of various rumored Apple products is uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "New AirPods Again Rumored, Launch Timing Uncertain Amid COVID-19" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Suppliers Reportedly Expect AirPods Shipments to Surge 50% to 90 Million in 2020

AirPods shipments could increase by 50 percent in 2020 on a year-over-year basis, according to sources within Apple's supply chain cited by DigiTimes.

A paywalled preview of the report reads as follows:
AirPods shipments to soar 50% in 2020
Shipments of Apple's AirPods are expected to surge 50% on year to 90 million sets in 2020, according to sources at suppliers engaged in the supply chain.
Apple folds AirPods revenue into its "Wearables, Home, and Accessories" category in its quarterly earnings reports, so keep in mind that these are estimated figures. 90 million shipments of AirPods representing 50 percent growth in 2020 would imply 60 million shipments in 2019, in line with an estimate from research firm Strategy Analytics earlier this year. However, as is common with estimates, some analysts have disputed that figure.

Regardless of exact numbers, it is clear that AirPods have been tremendously popular, with the new AirPods Pro facing lengthy shipping estimates on Apple's online store since being released last October. Apple's wearables category set a new all-time revenue record last quarter, which Apple attributed to the success of the Apple Watch and AirPods.

Apple released the higher-end AirPods Pro in October 2019 with several improvements over regular AirPods, including active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and water and sweat resistance, along with a new in-ear design. AirPods Pro are priced at $249 in the United States, while regular AirPods with a wireless charging case are $199.

Last week, it was rumored that a new entry-level version of AirPods Pro will enter production by the second quarter of 2020, but no further details have been shared. It has been speculated that the earphones could end up being third-generation regular AirPods with the same design and sound quality as AirPods Pro, but without active noise cancelation.
Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "Apple Suppliers Reportedly Expect AirPods Shipments to Surge 50% to 90 Million in 2020" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Highlights AirPods Pro With Active Noise Cancellation in New Ad

Apple today shared a new AirPods Pro ad titled "Snap" on its YouTube channel. The two-minute video revolves around a woman taking advantage of AirPods Pro features such as Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode while navigating a busy city.


"AirPods Pro offer unprecedented control," says Apple. "Active Noise Cancellation for immersive sound. Transparency mode to interact with the world around you."

Apple released the higher-end AirPods Pro in October 2019 with several improvements over regular AirPods, including active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and water and sweat resistance, along with a new in-ear design. AirPods Pro are priced at $249 in the United States, while regular AirPods with a wireless charging case are $199.

Last week, it was rumored that a new entry-level version of AirPods Pro will enter production by the second quarter of 2020, but no further details have been shared. It has been speculated that the earphones could end up being third-generation regular AirPods with the same design and sound quality as AirPods Pro, but without active noise cancelation.
Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, "Apple Highlights AirPods Pro With Active Noise Cancellation in New Ad" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

DigiTimes: New ‘Entry-Level’ AirPods Pro to Enter Production by Early Second Quarter

Apple's suppliers will kick off production of a new entry-level version of AirPods Pro between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter, according to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, suggesting that assembly of the earphones will begin around early to mid April.


A paywalled preview of the report, which should be published in full by tomorrow:
Chip and component suppliers gearing up for new AirPods production
Production of an entry-level version of Apple's AirPods Pro, dubbed tentatively AirPods Pro Lite, is expected to kick off between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter, according to sources at chip and component suppliers engaged in the supply chain for the TWS device.
DigiTimes continues to refer to the earphones as "AirPods Pro Lite," but it is unlikely that Apple will actually use that name.

Details surrounding the alleged entry-level AirPods Pro remain slim. It has been speculated that the earphones could end up being third-generation regular AirPods with the same design and sound quality as AirPods Pro, but without active noise cancelation. Apple announced the second-generation AirPods on March 20, 2019.

The second-generation AirPods start at $159, while AirPods Pro are priced at $249.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, "DigiTimes: New 'Entry-Level' AirPods Pro to Enter Production by Early Second Quarter" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

DigiTimes Continues to Suggest New Version of AirPods Pro Are Forthcoming

Taiwanese publication DigiTimes provides its paying subscribers with a daily preview of stories that it plans to publish, and in today's edition, it continues to suggest that Apple is planning a new version of AirPods Pro.

The story preview reads as follows:
USI likely to enter supply chain of AirPods Pro, sources say
Taiwan-based Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), a unit of ASE Technology, is likely to obtain system-in-package (SiP) orders for the upcoming AirPods Pro, according to industry sources.
Presumably, these "upcoming" AirPods Pro are the same model as the "AirPods Pro Lite" that the publication referred to earlier this month.


The earlier report claimed that "AirPods Pro Lite" will be an "entry-level version" of the AirPods Pro, but no features or specifications have been shared. The report added that production is unlikely to begin until at least the end of the second quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in China.

All in all, details are slim right now. "AirPods Pro Lite" is somewhat of an oxymoron, as "Pro Lite" just sounds like regular AirPods, but it has been speculated that perhaps Apple will release a less expensive version of the AirPods Pro with the same design and sound quality but without noise cancellation.

Of course, it is worth noting that DigiTimes has a rather infamous reputation. While the industry publication has connections within Apple's supply chain, it has a mixed track record in relation to the company's exact plans and timing. For this reason, it is possible that the "AirPods Pro Lite" will simply be a third generation of regular AirPods or that the report is entirely inaccurate.

We'll update this post if there are any additional details shared in the full report, which should be published by tomorrow.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "DigiTimes Continues to Suggest New Version of AirPods Pro Are Forthcoming" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

‘AirPods Pro Lite’ Production Reportedly Pushed Back From Planned Q2 Start

Last week, Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes made a passing reference to upcoming "AirPod Pro Lite" earphones without offering any details on the product, leading to confusion about whether this would be a third-generation version of the regular AirPods or a new member of the AirPods Pro family.


While we still don't have a full picture of what to expect with these upcoming earphones, DigiTimes today published another short paywalled blurb specifically describing ‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite as an "entry-level version of Apple's ‌AirPods Pro‌ series" and saying that production will not kick off in the second quarter of this year as originally planned.
Production of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite, an entry-level version of Apple's ‌AirPods Pro‌ series, is unlikely to kick off in the second quarter as originally planned, according to industry sources.
We haven't heard any specific rumors about these ‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite earphones, or updates to the ‌AirPods‌ and ‌AirPods Pro‌. The ‌AirPods Pro‌ were just released in October, so we're not expecting an update for some time yet, while the second-generation ‌AirPods‌ are coming up on a year old in March.

We'll update this article with any additional details once DigiTimes expands its blurb into a full story.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "'AirPods Pro Lite' Production Reportedly Pushed Back From Planned Q2 Start" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Reportedly Working on ‘AirPod Pro Lite’ Earphones

Apple is said to be working with supply chain partners in Taiwan on several upcoming products, including a so-called "AirPod Pro Lite," according to DigiTimes. Other products mentioned include next-generation iPad, Apple Watch, and iMac models, all of which will be due for updates in the coming months, although some like the ‌iPad‌ and ‌Apple Watch‌ are unlikely to launch before September.


The AirPod Pro Lite mention comes without further details, buried in a report about Apple looking to ramp up production with partners in Taiwan as it seeks to geographically diversify Apple's supply chain amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic that has significantly impacted production in China.
Apple, maintaining partnerships with supply chains in both Taiwan and China, may have its Taiwanese partners handle more production of new-generation ‌iPad‌, ‌Apple Watch‌, AirPod Pro Lite and ‌iMac‌ devices to be released later, as the epidemic has raised risks of raw materials supply shortages and shipments disruptions arising from uncertain resumption of normal operations at components suppliers and assembly plants in China, the sources said.
It's unclear exactly what DigiTimes is referring to by "AirPod Pro Lite," as Apple just released the AirPods Pro in October of last year. That followed the launch of second-generation regular AirPods in March 2019, and with only $50 separating the ‌AirPods Pro‌ from the wireless case version of the regular ‌AirPods‌, we're not sure how a "Lite" version of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ would fit into Apple's lineup.

While DigiTimes often has some insight into Apple's product pipeline through the supply chain, the publication is less accurate when it comes to specific details like product naming and timing, so it's possible these could be a third generation of the regular ‌AirPods‌, but we'll have to wait for additional rumors to surface before we have a better picture of what to expect.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "Apple Reportedly Working on 'AirPod Pro Lite' Earphones" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

AirPods and AirPods Pro Manufacturing Could Be Impacted by Coronavirus, Leading to Greater Supply Shortages

Apple has been working to ramp up production of the ever-popular AirPods and AirPods Pro, and its efforts to meet supply/demand balance could be in jeopardy due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

According to Nikkei, Apple's major ‌AirPods‌ suppliers Luxshare-ICT, Goertek, and Inventec have been shut down since the beginning of the Lunar New Year and even when work on ‌AirPods‌ resumes next Monday, components could be in short supply because factories all across China have been shuttered due to virus fears.


The ‌AirPods‌ manufacturers have "at most" two weeks worth of materials and components needed for ‌AirPods‌ assembly, and for fresh supplies, they will need to wait for component makers in China to restart operations. Given current conditions, product utilization rates could reach just 50 percent when work on the ‌AirPods‌ resumes.

A person who spoke to Nikkei says that it's unclear if parts suppliers in China will be able to "smoothly resume work" to create enough parts for assembly. "We really have to wait and see how things play out next week. If the assemblers could not get enough supply of parts in two weeks, it will be a big problem," said the source.

Travel restrictions from certain regions in China are likely to create labor shortages at factories, and companies are balancing restarting production while also dealing with fears an employee could bring the virus back to the factory. Foxconn, for example, has already said that workers returning from the Henan province will be sequestered for two weeks, while other staff will be isolated for a week.

Apple was aiming to produce up to 45 million ‌AirPods‌ units in the first half of 2020, but the current ‌AirPods‌ stock is running low and is reserved for Apple's stores. Right now, the regular ‌AirPods‌ remain in stock, but the ‌AirPods Pro‌ are still backordered, as they have been since launch.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "AirPods and AirPods Pro Manufacturing Could Be Impacted by Coronavirus, Leading to Greater Supply Shortages" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple App Store Preview Confirms Existence of Samsung’s Rumored Galaxy Buds+ With Official iPhone Support

Apple last night unwittingly confirmed the existence of Samsung's upcoming next-generation Galaxy Buds+, which are set to compete directly with Apple's own AirPods Pro wireless earphones.


Confirmation came via an App Store preview of the wireless earphones' iOS app, first spotted by CNET, indicating that the Galaxy Buds+ will be officially compatible with iPhone 7 and newer devices running iOS 10 or higher.

Other than that, the app description reveals little else about Samsung's new earbuds. However, serial gadget leaker Evan Blass has subsequently shared an official-looking spec sheet of the upcoming Galaxy Buds+ compared to the current Galaxy Buds.

According to the spec sheet, the Galaxy Buds+ will have almost double the battery life of their predecessor, with 11 hours for the buds themselves plus an additional 11 hours from the charging case, compared with six hours for the standard Galaxy Buds and 7 hours for its charging case.

Image via @evleaks

Unlike Apple's ‌AirPods Pro‌, the Galaxy Buds+ don't have active noise cancellation, but the design remains the same as the current Galaxy Buds, so there is some passive sound isolation. Otherwise, the new earbuds have upgraded speakers and an additional microphone, so expect improved audio.

The Galaxy Buds+ will cost $149, up from $129, and will be available in black, white, red, and blue colors. Speculation suggests that Samsung may also include the earbuds in the box with the upcoming Galaxy S20, but this hasn't been confirmed.

After CNET highlighted the existence of Apple's App Store preview, a Samsung spokesperson told the website that the company is "excited to introduce Galaxy Buds+ soon." Samsung noted that its app "will allow iOS users to enjoy an optimized sound experience, on the go."

Samsung will hold its Unpacked event on February 11 in San Francisco, where it's expected to introduce its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S20, along with a new folding phone called the Galaxy Z Flip.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Apple has reportedly been experiencing "much higher" than expected demand for its $249 ‌AirPods Pro‌, and the company is said to have ask its supplier Luxshare Precision to double production of the high-end earphones to two million units per month.

Together with the Apple Watch, the AirPods and ‌AirPods Pro‌ have been a driving force behind growth in Apple's wearables category, which recently set new fourth quarter revenue records worldwide.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, "Apple App Store Preview Confirms Existence of Samsung's Rumored Galaxy Buds+ With Official iPhone Support" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Providing Free Replacement AirPods Pro Tips Under AppleCare+

Customers who have AirPods Pro that also purchased an AppleCare+ protection plan for $29 appear to be able to receive free replacement tips for their ‌AirPods Pro‌.

Multiple MacRumors readers have reported being provided replacement tips at no cost after going through Apple's support repair steps for the ‌AirPods Pro‌.


From MacRumors reader Boshii:
I'm not sure if it's an ‌AppleCare‌+ thing or not but I set up the replacement online and there was no fee. I was under the impression that there will be a cost even with ‌AppleCare‌+.
‌AirPods Pro‌ owners with ‌AppleCare‌+ who want to order replacement tips can do so by going to the Apple support site, choosing the ‌AirPods Pro‌, picking the option to replace an AirPod or an ear tip, selecting the option to replace the ‌AirPods Pro‌ ear tips, and then choosing the order replacement option.

When ordering replacement tips, Apple sends one pair in a specified size only, and it's not clear if there's a limit on the number of free replacement tips that can be ordered.

Apple's support site and the ‌AppleCare‌+ page for headphones don't mention the possibility of free replacement tips, instead suggesting the tips will have a $3.95 replacement fee. Ordering AirPods tips without ‌AppleCare‌+ incurs the aforementioned $3.95 fee.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, "Apple Providing Free Replacement AirPods Pro Tips Under AppleCare+" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums