Apple imposed new rules for using headphones and earphones with mobile devices when it forcibly removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 back in 2016. People protested, but Apple never looked back. The company offered buyers three distinct ways to deal with it, including what ultimately become a breakout hit for Apple. You could either use a dongle or the Lightning EarPods with the iPhone 7 phones. Both accessories came free of charge. Or you could use the brand new wireless earphones that Apple called AirPods. Those launched a few months after the iPhone 7, but they quickly became must-have devices. Everyone in the industry launched AirPods and AirPods Pro competitors in the years that followed.
Apple refreshed the AirPods with a model that features a wirelessly charging case. Then it launched the AirPods Pro that brings over a brand new design and active noise cancellation support. Apple plans to update both devices in the near future. But it might not release the AirPods Pro 2 until next year. Says so a reliable Apple tipster.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo just penned a new research note about AirPods, with 9to5Mac obtaining a copy. The analyst says that the purpose of the recently launched Beats Studio Buds is to tide buyers over until next year, when the AirPods Pro 2 will launch. The analyst cut his AirPods estimates to 70-75 million for the 2021 calendar year, citing pressure from competitors and the absence of new AirPods models.
Is the AirPods Pro 2 launch delayed?
Unlike iPhone, iPad, and Mac, the AirPods do not see yearly upgrades. The first AirPods launched in mid-December 2016. Apple updated them more than two years later, in mid-March 2019. The AirPods Pro 2 followed that October. The AirPods Pro 2 will launch when Apple is ready to market them and not before.
We saw plenty of AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 rumors this year, offering all sorts of possible launch dates for the new models. Apple doesn’t use a numbering scheme for the AirPods, but that’s what the newest models are often referred to in rumors and leaks.
Kuo’s new estimate is in line with a recent report from Bloomberg that said the redesigned AirPods Pro will launch in 2022. They will feature advanced fitness tracking features, a claim that Kuo reiterates.
But Apple will launch the redesigned AirPods 3 this year, something Kuo also expects. The new AirPods will look just like the current AirPods Pro version, according to several leaks. Kuo doesn’t offer a release date for AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro 2. But the analyst says the two new wireless earphones will help Apple sell more than 100 million AirPods Units in 2022.
More interesting than the AirPods Pro 2’s actual launch date is the claim the new wearable device will come with fitness tracking abilities. We’re yet to find out what sort of health tracking features the second-gen AirPods Pro will sport. Apple teased recently that it might use AirPods in connection with Apple Watch and iPhone to improve health tracking apps.