Apple AirPods 3 could launch on March 23 with new design and case
Apple is expected to host an event on March 23 where it is speculated that the company will introduce new iPads and possibly new Mac products. We could also see a possible update for the AirPods 2 that launched back in March 2019. Numerous leaks doing rounds of the internet suggest that we could see a new design for the upcoming wireless earphones.
As popular Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, had said in November last year, the third-gen AirPods or the AirPods 3 would launch in the first half of 2021. They had also mentioned that these will feature a similar design as the AirPods Pro where the stem of the earbuds would be shorter with replaceable ear tips. These could be more affordable but don’t expect features like active noise cancellation like the Pro. Apart from a new wireless chip, the new AirPods 3 are also expected to come with improved battery life.
Kuo had also predicted that the new AirPods 3 would go into mass production during the first half of 2021. However, a recent report by MacRumors now claims that the analyst believes that mass production will begin only in the third quarter of 2021. While this could mean that Apple will announce the new AirPods this month, it might plan to ship it later in the year. Kuo also says that AirPods shipments during the first quarter of 2021 to the third quarter of 2021 are expected to decline by 25 percent year over year, which means somewhere around 55 million units. However, if the demand for AirPods 3 is better than expected, the fourth quarter AirPods shipments would remain flat year over year at 23 million units.
Considering that Apple might launch the AirPods 3 at a lower price, there is a possibility that the production of AirPods 2 will come to a halt once the AirPods 3 hits mass production. According to Kuo, Apple is currently evaluating that if they continue to sell the AirPods 2 at a lower price, it could affect the demand for the AirPods 3. At the same time, if there is no low-priced AirPods model, then it could have a negative effect on Apple’s sales.
“If AirPods 2 will go to end-of-life after AirPods 3’s mass production, we estimate AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods 2, and AirPods Max will account for about 40%, 28%, 31%, and 1% of total shipments, respectively, in 2021. If AirPods 2 will continue production after mass production of AirPods 3, we estimate AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods 2, and AirPods Max will account for about 32%, 28%, 39%, and 1% of total shipments in 2021, respectively.”
One of the more recent alleged leaks of the AirPods 3 gives us an early look at the product. According to 52 Audio, these are real-life images of the upcoming Apple AirPods which shares some of its looks with the AirPods Pro. Even the case of the new AirPods 3 is wider compared to the taller cases of the AirPods and AirPods 2. Apple will also offer the option to attach ear tips on the new AirPods, which could be really interesting as it could help in adding some passive noise cancellation since the leak suggests there would be no active noise cancellation. Additionally, offering the option of ear tips could attract more customers who prefer a tighter in-ear fit.