The Apple AirPods are one of the company’s best selling products and the second-generation AirPods were recently released. Now there are rumors that a third-generation and a potentially fourth-generation of AirPods might be released at about the same time.
Apple released the second generation AirPods on March 20 with a faster processor, a hands-free “Hey Siri” feature, and longer talk time. Plus Apple also released a wireless charging case for the AirPods at about the same time.
Reports about the new AirPods came from Digitimes and TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chu Kuo. Digitimes reported that the third-generation AirPods will be available later this year with a noise cancellation feature. Digitimes has been somewhat reliable in the past.
It is rare for wireless in-ear headphones to have noise cancellation features since it is challenging to build and consumes battery life rapidly. The Sony WF-SP700N is one of the few pairs of in-ear / wireless headphones to have a noise cancellation feature.
But it is unclear whether the upcoming AirPods features will have new health tracking sensors, better audio quality, or water resistance capabilities.
According to MacRumors, Kuo is predicting that Apple is going to release two new AirPods models in 2020 — which will go into mass production between the last quarter of the year and the first quarter of 2020.
“We expect Apple will likely launch two new AirPods models in 4Q19 at the earliest. One is the all-new form factor design at a higher price. The other’s outlook and price will be the same as the current model’s. A common internal design factor of these two new AirPods will be to abandon the current ‘SMT+RFPCB’ design and change to adopt the SiP design instead for improving assembly yield rates, saving internal space and reducing cost,” wrote Kuo in the report via MacRumors.
One of the new pairs of AirPods is expected to look just like the current generation of AirPods at the same price ($159 with a regular charging case or $199 with a wireless charging case). And the other pair will have an “all-new form factor design” at a higher price.