Update 13 October 2021: The updated AirPods are expected at Apple’s Unleashed event on Monday, October 18. Initially, there were rumors that the AirPods 3 would come in September, but that fell through. Weibo rumor yummy @PandaIsBald, who previously correctly predicted the ninth-generation iPad, now claims that in addition to the M1X Macs, new AirPods will also be on display, with a new design.
This is the first major redesign since 2019. They replace the current second-generation AirPods and have a shorter stem, but without the Pro features.
Update 13 september 2021: On the eve of the 2021 iPhone event, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has his predictions made. Kuo thinks the AirPods 3 will be announced during the iPhone event on September 14. The AirPods 2 will remain in the range, Kuo thinks. Apple can follow two scenarios: the AirPods 3 will become more expensive than the current model, or the AirPods 2 will drop in price as a cheaper entry-level model. Kuo has no idea which of the two is more likely. He has learned from his sources that the production of the AirPods 2 will continue, even if the AirPods 3 are on the market. Apple currently sells the AirPods 2 in two versions: with normal and wireless charging case.
The AirPods will probably get a new design, which resembles the AirPods Pro. The stems are shorter, but they probably don’t have active noise cancellation. They would, however, support Spatial Audio with head movement detection. Kuo thinks the new models will cause a 10-15% growth in the first quarter of 2022. The AirPods Pro are not expected to get an update until 2022, with the stem possibly disappearing completely. There is also talk of built-in sensors for fitness tracking.
Following is our original article from July 23, 2021.
After much speculation about all kinds of data, it now seems to be becoming more certain: the AirPods 3 are coming in September. More and more rumors are appearing that point to this. The sources are also more reliable than what we had to deal with before. A new report from DigiTimes describes an announcement during the iPhone 13 event.
AirPods 3 coming in September 2021
There have never been as many rumors about a new generation of AirPods as the AirPods 3. It was claimed months ago by YouTubers that Apple would make the announcement in May. Rumored delicious Jon Prosser claims for a long time that Apple has already finished development and that it simply requires another announcement.
The suspected design of AirPods 3. The lack of the rubber part is clearly visible.
No major announcements from Apple are expected until September, so this seems like a logical time for the AirPods 3 announcement. DigiTimes also claims that in a new report. As early as March, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that AirPods 3 mass production would begin in the third quarter of 2021. This week, Nikkei confirmed this rumor.
AirPods 3 look like AirPods Pro, but without the rubber part. This version will not support active noise cancellation. We do expect Dolby Atmos support for AirPods 3, but Spatial Audio support is uncertain.
AirPods Pro 2 slated for 2022
We will probably have to wait a little longer for the AirPods Pro 2 release. There were rumors that the AirPods Pro 2 will be released in the second half of 2021, but that seems less and less likely. We expect Apple to announce the two versions separately: the AirPods 3 in September 2021 and the AirPods Pro 2 in spring 2022. One of the expected updates is fitness tracking in AirPods Pro 2.
In our earlier preview of the AirPods in 2021 you can read more about what to expect. For example, you may already be able to prepare your choice if you expect to purchase a new set of AirPods.
- 2021 – September 13, 09:01: Article edited in response to new statements by Ming-Chi Kuo.
- 2021 – July 23, 2:20 PM: Article edited due to new rumors from DigiTimes.