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Apple rumored to launch a cheaper version of its AirPods Pro

Published Feb 12th, 2020 7:31AM EST
AirPods Pro Lite
Image: Apple

There’s no question that the AirPods are the most successful product Apple made in the past few years. Apple’s wearable earphones that you’ve seen everywhere are the most popular product in this category. Not to mention that everyone else in the industry is copying Apple. Like Apple, Android vendors started killing the headphone jack and simultaneously launch wireless earphones of their own. Even Samsung, the last knight defending the honor of the 3.5mm port had to admit defeat, as it just launched a Galaxy S20 phone that has no room for an old audio port.

On top of that, it upgraded its own earphones to better fight the AirPods Pro. That’s because Apple kept improving the AirPods over the years, giving consumers more choices at different price tags. The Pro is the most expensive version of the AirPods. Then there’s the model that features a charging case that supports wireless charging. The cheapest AirPods model is the original one, which features a wired charging case. However, the earphones themselves offer the same sound performance as the ones packed inside the wireless charging case. They’re all second-gen earbuds. So, where would a Lite version of the AirPods Pro fit?

The “Pro” and “Lite” monikers should never be used in the same product name. Not unless you want to raise trolls to mock your product Pro Lite with jokes and memes online. Yet a report from Digitimes (via MacRumors ), specifically mentions the “AirPod [sic] Pro Lite.” Apparently, Apple is working with Taiwanese partners to make several new devices, including the AirPods Pro Lite:

Apple, maintaining partnerships with supply chains in both Taiwan and China, may have its Taiwanese partners handle more production of new-generation ‌iPad‌, ‌Apple Watch‌, AirPod Pro Lite, and ‌iMac‌ devices to be released later, as the epidemic has raised risks of raw materials supply shortages and shipments disruptions arising from uncertain resumption of normal operations at components suppliers and assembly plants in China, the sources said.

Digitimes doesn’t explain what the Pro Lite devices would have to offer. Or better said, what would make them less of a pro? The current AirPods with wireless charging case cost just $50 less than the AirPods Pro. How would a Lite version even fit in there?

Is Apple looking to remove the original AirPods design and replace it with the new AirPods? In such a case, a Lite version would probably be AirPods Pro without a wirelessly charging case. That’s just speculation at this point, as there’s absolutely no way to confirm any of this. Not to mention that Digitimes doesn’t have a perfect track record when it comes to Apple rumors.  It’s definitely too soon to make any major changes for the AirPods Pro, considering that Apple only launched them a few months ago.

What is interesting, however, is that the report also mentions additional products supposed to launch later this year, including the new iPad, Apple Watch, and iMac. These are all product refreshes that we already expect this year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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