Apple is reportedly planning to introduce two new models of its AirPods lineup next year, including an entry-level AirPods and a second-generation AirPods Pro. Bloomberg reports that the low-end AirPods may debut in the first half of 2021.
The entry-level model will be the third iteration of the standard AirPods last refreshed in March of last year for $159 while the Pro version will succeed the $249 model. One of the notable changes supposedly set to be introduced by the new AirPods Pro is a stemless design that bears a closer resemblance to the earbuds from competitors like Samsung.
On the other hand, the entry-level AirPods are likely to keep the stems protruding from the ears like those of the current AirPods Pro, which are slightly shorter than the regular AirPods. This corroborates an earlier forecast by TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Additionally, the standard earbuds may feature replaceable ear tips and longer battery life, although noise cancellation is said to be missing.
Both earbuds are reportedly powered by new wireless chips from Apple. Interestingly, the rumored launch of new AirPods next year comes at a time when Apple no longer includes the EarPod headphones along with the iPhone inside the box, beginning with the iPhone 12 series. It remains to be seen how its new strategy will affect sales of its upcoming AirPods lineup.
Apple is also said to be developing another HomePod model that could fall in between the latest HomePod and HomePod Mini. A pair of over-ear headphones with a noise-canceling feature is also reportedly in the works.