Technology

AirPods 3 will likely be priced higher report suggests

We are expecting Apple to launch their 3rd generation AirPods the end of this year, but an early report says that they will be priced a little higher than the current model.

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An early report today lends weight to that idea…

Apple’s analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made the initial prediction last month.

TF Industries’ Ming-Chi Kuo reports that Apple is set to launch two new AirPods hardware models as early as the fourth quarter of 2019, quoting a ‘4Q19 – 1Q20’ timeframe.

One of these models is reported as an iterative update to the existing AirPods, and other will come with an all-new form factor and associated higher price.

That means that Apple will continue to offer the same $159 (Lightning) and $199 (Wireless) price points for an updated version of the existing AirPods, while offering a higher-spec version at a higher price. A Digitimes report the same day indicated that noise-cancellation would be the main distinguishing feature between the standard and ‘AirPods 3’ models.

The idea of differential pricing is supported by a Digitimes report that a supplier is increasing shipments for a component used in the current AirPods 2 model through early 2020, despite the fact that this part is not expected to be used in AirPods 3.

Unitech Printed Circuit Board has been ramping up rigid-flex PCB shipments for Apple’s AirPods 2, the order visibility for which has extended through early 2020 at least, according to industry sources.

This is despite market speculation that AirPods 3 – reportedly to hit the market by the end of 2019 – may feature a brand-new internal design adopting SiP (system in package) technology instead of rigid-flex board combination, the sources said.

That would make absolute sense if Apple plans to continue selling the existing model alongside AirPods 3. But, neither of these would make sense if we hadn’t had an Apple report, which we haven’t and we have to wait.

Rigid-flex boards are used in most other true wireless headphones, but the report does claim to relate specifically to Apple orders.

AirPods are an increasingly important product for Apple, the company’s most recent earnings report revealing that a category comprising AirPods, HomePod, the Apple Watch and accessories is now worth as much to the Cupertino company as the iPad. CEO Tim Cook said that Apple was still struggling to keep up with demand for AirPods.

Apple will soon have an even greater hold on the true wireless in-ear headphones market thanks to the launch of the Beats Powerbeats Pro.


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Harry King

Harry King is the main author and also covers Apple and Android news for TechDomes. You can message Harry over email or Twitter.


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