The design of the third generation AirPods is said to be similar to the current AirPods Pro model with a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips, as well as, improved battery life. For the second generation AirPods Pro model, Apple is purportedly planning to eliminate the stem that sticks out from the bottom. The design being tested is said to have a more rounded shape that fills your ear, similar to the latest designs from Samsung and Amazon. Sources tell the site that integrating noise-cancellation, wireless antennas, and microphones into a smaller AirPods Pro casing has proved difficult and could result in the release of a less ambitious design than originally planned.
The new low-end AirPods could launch during the first half of 2021. Both new models are expected to have new wireless chips. Luxshare Precision and Goertek will likely handle most of the production.
Additionally, Apple is said to be considering the launch of a new HomePod that would sit between the HomePod mini ($99) and the original HomePod ($299). It's unclear if Apple will go ahead with a third model or simply cut the price of the HomePod.
Finally, Apple still plans to announce high-end, noise cancelling over-ear headphones; however, the device has faced development and production challenges over the past two years. Bloomberg says 'AirPods Studio' were set for production weeks ago; however, that was pushed back due to problems with the headband being too tight in some testing.
It's said that Apple wanted large touch pads on the sides of the headphones but had to reduce their size. Additionally, the initial interchangeability feature of the headphones may have been scaled back. The latest version likely does not have a replaceable headband but may still have interchangeable ear pads.
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