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It looks like we finally know when Apple’s AirPods 3 will launch

Published Jul 23rd, 2021 8:39PM EDT
AirPods 3 Release
Image: Apple

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After several false starts, it seems like we finally have a firm grasp on when we can expect to see the AirPods 3 release. While reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said we can expect to see new AirPods during the first half of 2021, it appears that the release date has been pushed back ever so slightly. According to supply chain sources cited by Digitimes, Apple will release its next-gen pair of AirPods this coming September. Putting two and two together, AirPods 3 will likely be introduced alongside Apple’s iPhone 13.

It’s worth noting that Digitimes doesn’t always have a solid track record with respect to these types of Apple rumors. Still, the report aligns nicely with similar rumblings we’ve seen in recent weeks. What’s more, with WWDC now behind us, it only makes sense for Apple to release new AirPods at a special media event as opposed to announcing them via a press release with little to no fanfare.

AirPods 3 release date

While it’s a safe bet we’ll see Apple introduce new AirPods this coming September, a specific AirPods 3 release date remains unclear. It would be nice to see new AirPods available for purchase in September, but AirPods supply can sometimes become strained. Recall that when the original AirPods launched in September of 2016, they were impossibly hard to find for months. That said, it stands to reason that Apple will do all it can to release AirPods 3 sometime in the fall. Apple, naturally, will want to release AirPods 3 early enough so that it can be ready to go before the busy holiday shopping season kicks into high gear.

AirPods 3 features and specs

The AirPods release date aside, AirPods 3 will likely be a significant upgrade. According to reports, AirPods 3 will borrow a few design elements from AirPods Pro. This means that AirPods 3 will boast a more compact form factor. Additionally, Apple’s next-gen AirPods will no longer be a one-size-fits-all affair. Rather, AirPods 3 will ship with silicone ear tips like the AirPod Pro model.

The new design may look something like this:

Other AirPods 3 features to look forward to include improved audio performance, and better water and sweat resistance. There are also reports that AirPods 3 will feature improved battery life. At this point, it’s unclear if AirPods 3 will boast noise cancellation functionality.

AirPods Pro will also get an upgrade

There’s also a possibility we’ll see a next-gen AirPods Pro release this year. According to reports, Apple’s new AirPods Pro earbuds may also get a redesign. Specifically, the new AirPods Pro may be even more compact than the current design. Some reports have hinted that the new design will occupy more of the ear and will be similar to wireless earbud designs from the likes of Samsung and Google.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.