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

$399 ‘Apple AirPods (X Generation)’ Show Up in Target Inventory List

Target's internal inventory system appears to include a listing for a product called "Apple Airpods (X Generation) priced at $399," according to multiple Target employees who got in touch with YouTuber John Prosser.


Prosser speculates that the name could refer to Apple's over-ear headphones that are rumored to be in development, but the listing is not accompanied by an image and includes no other information other than the name and the prospective price.

Notably, the spelling of "Airpods" is wrong, so Apple Airpods (X Generation) may just be a placeholder name for something coming in the future. The $399 price tag is $150 higher than Apple's most expensive AirPods, the AirPods Pro, so if the product is real, it is a higher-end headphone option in the ‌AirPods‌ line. There are three SKUs with the X Generation name, suggesting three prospective colors.


AppleInsider says that it spoke to multiple Target employees after learning of the listing, and while there was no information to be gleaned about the origin of the image, the employees said placeholders for new products with pricing information are common, but product names aren't always accurate.

The employees suggested that products with a placeholder "ship within a month" or sometimes "as soon as a week" after appearing in the Target inventory system, so if there is indeed a new ‌AirPods‌ product in the works, it could be coming soon. Apple is rumored to be holding an event on March 31st where the new ‌AirPods‌ could be announced alongside the low-cost iPhone that's in development.

There have been recent rumors about "‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite" with no specific information on what that might be, but such a product would likely be available at a lower cost than the ‌AirPods Pro‌ and is presumably not the product referenced in the Target listing. Apple has no other known AirPods-style earbuds in the works, but has been rumored to be working on high-end over-ear headphones since 2018.

Little has been heard in the way of rumors about the high-end headphones, and there was some speculation that the rumors had actually been referencing the $300 Beats Solo Pro that launched back in October, but it's possible there's another set of headphones on the horizon.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Neutral)

This article, "$399 'Apple AirPods (X Generation)' Show Up in Target Inventory List" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Make Your AirPods Case Look Like a Game Boy With This New Cover

Elago has released a new cover for the AirPods charging case with a retro design inspired by Nintendo's iconic Game Boy.

Available in Light Gray or Black, the cover is made of flexible, impact-resistant silicone material with an anti-slip coating, giving the AirPods charging case some added protection. It is also equipped with a carabiner, allowing it to be attached to a keychain or a backpack or so forth when on the go.


The cover is compatible with both the first- and second-generation AirPods charging case, but not the AirPods Pro case. Elago says the cover does not interfere with wireless charging functionality.

The cover is available for $10.99 to $12.99 on Amazon and Elago.com.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Tag: Elago
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Neutral)

This article, "Make Your AirPods Case Look Like a Game Boy With This New Cover" 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 Now Allowing AirPods Charging Cases to Be Engraved With Emojis

Apple today added updated engraving options for the AirPods Charging Case, allowing customers who purchase ‌AirPods‌ to choose to engrave emoji characters on their devices.

‌AirPods‌ have always been able to be engraved, but the engravings were limited to text and there was no option to add an emoji character. Apple is highlighting the engraving options on its main site and when customers visit one of the ‌AirPods‌ product pages.


Customers who choose to personalize their ‌AirPods‌ during the purchase process can choose from several emoji characters, though not all emojis are available. Options like smiling face, face with tongue out, and thumbs up are available, as are multiple animals.


There's a ghost, unicorn, bear, skull, dragon, poop, snake, and others, including the animals from the Chinese zodiac. Customers can choose text or an emoji, but not both as the emoji is done in a larger style. Apple has also tweaked the text that can be added to the ‌AirPods‌, bumping up the size.

Customization options with emoji are available for all ‌AirPods‌ models and apply to the Charging Case for each order.

Thanks, Stanford!

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "Apple Now Allowing AirPods Charging Cases to Be Engraved With Emojis" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

How Tos, Guides, and Tips for New AirPods Owners

Since their launch in 2016, Apple's AirPods have become wildly popular and are an oft-gifted item. This year, Apple debuted both the AirPods 2 and the AirPods Pro, offering more choice for consumers this holiday season.

If you received AirPods as a gift, make sure to take a look through all of the how tos in this guide, because there are plenty of AirPods and AirPods Pro tips and tricks worth knowing.


Basic Features

Must-Know Tutorials

Connectivity With iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac

Tips and Tricks

Troubleshooting

Just for the AirPods Pro

AirPods Guides

Videos









More Info


Know a super useful ‌iPhone‌ tip that other MacRumors readers might not be aware of? Make sure to share it in the comments below.

For more info on Apple's latest iPhones, and the ‌iOS 13‌ operating system, make sure to check out our detailed roundups: AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "How Tos, Guides, and Tips for New AirPods Owners" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums