According to reports, Apple is working on budget AirPods and AirPods Max headphones.
Still 2 years away
It may release them in the second half of 2024, but production issues could delay the unveiling until early 2025, claims prominent Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Around the same time we will also see the second-gen AirPods Max – Apple’s wireless overhead headphones.
According to Kuo the budget-friendly AirPods would cost $99, or about Rs 8,000 which is even cheaper than the 2nd gen AirPods that start at $129 (or Rs 14,900 in India).
The costliest audio item in Apple’s lineup is still the AirPods Max, which retails for Rs 59,900.
Kuo further stated, via GSMArena, that the Apple team at its Cupertino, California headquarters is preparing to switch the suppliers of its AirPods.
The report notes, “Hon Teng (FIT), a Foxconn subsidiary, is taking over from Goertek, which will bring ‘significant benefits’ to the company. FIT will share the assembly process with Luxshare ICT, which manufactures AirPods Max headphones.”
This is not the first time that Apple is reported to be working on affordable AirPods, since the same has been claimed in the past.
Another insider had published this information earlier this month and stated that Apple anticipates a decrease in the shipments of its audio products this year.
According to reports, the third generation of AirPods is not selling well, so the business is considering developing cheaper earbuds to reach a wider audience.
Scrapped features on the cheap buds
Specifications are not highlighted in either source but it won’t be a surprise if the affordable AirPods lack major features that exist in the more expensive variants.
For instance, both second-gen and third-gen AirPods lack ANC (active noise cancellation), which helps eliminate ambient noises for a better listening experience.
If the report on the affordable AirPods is accurate, then the earbuds will lack ANC as well.
It may also lack wireless charging support, and the company may scrap the H1 chip.
Further, it could get a new name, similar to how Apple rehashed its discontinued iPhones to create the iPhone SE 2nd gen.
On the other hand, the Apple AirPods Max will have all the latest features.
To begin with, it may have advanced wireless audio codecs for the best audio experience.
Apple is rumored to be working on health features for the AirPods as well, including a heart-rate sensor.
Since these headphones have more space, it will be easier for Apple to add relevant sensors.