A new report from DigiTimes reveals that the third-generation AirPods should still be released before the end of this year. While some tipsters were expecting the third-generation AirPods to be introduced during Apple’s California Streaming event last month, there were no signs of the wireless Bluetooth earbuds during the event. DigiTimes, citing industry sources, said that the product will still see the light of day before the ball marking the start of 2022 drops from Times Square.
A little more than a couple of weeks ago, DigiTimes sources told it that the new AirPods were undergoing mass production. Apple could introduce the latest AirPods model later this month when it holds an event to unveil some new Macs. Or, Apple might decide just to issue a press release announcing the new AirPods, something it did back in April 2020 when the second-generation AirPods was unwrapped.
The third-gen AirPods are expected to include a design change to bring the device more in line with the look of the AirPods Pro. In other words, we might see shorter stems, a universal tip design, and a smaller, more compact wireless charging case. Other possibilities include improved audio quality and a starting price of $199. At one point there was speculation that Apple would add active noise cancellation (ANC) to the model, but this feature is one of the big ones that differentiate the AirPods from the AirPods Pro making such a move unlikely.
With a possible hike in price to $199 for the third-generation AirPods, Apple might decide to keep the AirPods 2 around to give consumers a lower-priced option at $159.99.