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Did this leaked accessory just reveal the next AirPods?

AirPods 3 Release Date

A series of recent leaks claim that Apple is readying the launch of a third-gen AirPods model that will deliver a brand new design, as well as a few new features. We’ve been referring to them as AirPods 3, even though Apple never actually used AirPods 2 to designate the product refresh earlier this year. But the new wireless earphones might be sold under the AirPods Pro moniker, according to a recent report. A brand new leak, meanwhile, seems to confirm previous rumors that said the new AirPods will indeed feature a brand new design.

One of the latest iOS 13.2 beta releases contained an icon showing the new AirPods design:

Image source: MacRumors

Separately, images a few months ago showed us the purported components for the AirPods Pro, including an elongated charging case as well as a different design for the actual earbuds.

Fast-forward to late October, and MacRumors reports that accessory maker ESR is shipping cases that are supposed to fit the unreleased headphones:

Image source: MacRumors

Shown in the image above, the protective devices seem to back up previous rumors. We’re looking at an elongated case complete with wireless charging capabilities, similar to what the 2019 AirPods introduced. As with similar leaks involving accessories for devices that have yet to be announced officially, we have no idea whether ESR had access to actual AirPods Pro design information, or created the protective covers using data from previous leaks.

It’s unclear whether Apple plans to host another keynote in the coming weeks, but the company is expected to unveil a bunch of new products this quarter, including the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the 2019 iPad Pros. The Mac Pro that was launched earlier this year should also hit stores by Christmas. The AirPods Pro will hit stores this year as well, according to some rumors, or early in 2020.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.